‘Har­rods of the North’

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Business - BUSI­NESS RE­PORTER busi­ness@west­erndai­ly­press.co.uk

SPORTS Di­rect has vowed to cre­ate the “Har­rods of the North” af­ter clinch­ing a £95 mil­lion deal to buy Glas­gow’s Frasers build­ing in a move that saves 800 jobs.

The re­tailer said it will con­tinue to op­er­ate the 350,000sq ft site as Frasers and will in­vest in the prop­erty to “fur­ther el­e­vate and en­hance this iconic de­part­ment store”.

Plans for its re­vamp are be­ing driven by its House of Fraser brand, which it­self was bought by Sports Di­rect af­ter col­laps­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion in Au­gust.

The com­pany said it is “great news” for the House of Fraser work­force, in­clud­ing the 800 in-store jobs it says have now been saved.

The site is be­ing bought from Glas­gow City Coun­cil, which is the ad­min­is­ter­ing author­ity for The Strath­clyde Pen­sion Fund.

The deal is set to be com­pleted in Jan­uary 2020.

House of Fraser said the “Har­rods of the North” vi­sion would be re­alised with the site con­tin­u­ing to host lux­ury brand names in­clud­ing Her­mes, Chris­tian Louboutin, Prada and Gucci.

Michael Mur­ray, head of el­e­va­tion at Sports Di­rect, said: “We are over­whelmed and proud to own such an iconic desti­na­tion.

“Ac­quir­ing the free­hold en­ables us to el­e­vate and in­vest in the store in order to part­ner with a broad range of lux­ury brands in fu­ture. This is fan­tas­tic news for all par­ties.”

Su­san Aitken, leader of Glas­gow City Coun­cil, said: “A ma­jor in­vest­ment on this kind of scale is a clear vote of con­fi­dence in Glas­gow, and credit must also go to hun­dreds of Frasers staff who are ab­so­lutely in­te­gral to the busi­ness’s suc­cess and its en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity with city shop­pers.

“With the fu­ture of this iconic re­tailer’s Glas­gow pres­ence se­cured, we look for­ward to the new own­ers build­ing on its cher­ished re­la­tion­ship with shop­pers and rep­u­ta­tion as a val­ued city em­ployer for al­most 170 years.”

Alis­tair John­ston, Gen­eral Man­ager at Frasers in Glas­gow (cen­tre), with staff at the store. Sports Di­rect has vowed to cre­ate the “Har­rods of the North” af­ter clinch­ing a £95 mil­lion deal to buy the build­ing

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