// Frasers Group is to open new stores for both Sports Direct and Flannels at Gateshead’s Metrocentre
// The retail group is taking 130,000 sq ft for the two flagships at the site of a former Debenhams store
Frasers Group is to open new flagship stores for both Sports Direct and Flannels at Gateshead’s Metrocentre.
Mike Ashley’s retail group has taken the 130,000 sq ft store on a 15-year lease, which will be divided into a 70,000 sq ft Flannels on the ground floor and a 60,000 sq ft Sports Direct on the first floor, both of which are due to open next year.
The store was formerly a Debenhams, but is currently occupied by Next Home & Beauty, which will consolidate the offer into its existing Next store at the centre.
The deal means a big increase in space for Flannels, which currently occupies a 5,000 sq ft unit at the Metrocentre, while Sports Direct will move from its current store on a retail park close to the shopping centre.
The stores will open in the Metrocentre’s Red Mall, which is a big fashion destination within the centre.
The openings come hot on the heels of Frasers Group opening a 60,000 sq ft Sports Direct flagship in Birmingham, in which it has invested £10 million.
New group CEO Michael Murray has spearheaded the businesses’ elevation strategy, which aims to create shopping environments that are fit-for-purpose in not just today’s retail market but for years to come.
READ MORE: In pictures: Sports Direct’s new £10m Birmingham flagship store
Owner of the shopping centre, Metrocentre Partnership, were advised by asset manager Sovereign Centros on the deal.
Sovereign Centros director Graeme Jones said: “These lettings will create a new destination point for the centre’s Red Mall. The store sits on one of the main entrances to the centre and therefore important from a visual presentation perspective.
“The transaction completes a major element of our business plan leasing up surplus former department store space.”
Harrods’ H Beauty format recently opened on the site of an ex-House of Fraser store at the Metrocentre, while Jones added that both JD and H&M had upsized at the shopping centre earlier this year and are trading “really well”.
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