Frasers announced for Houndshill Shopping Centre
Blackpool Council and the centre’s management company, Ellandi, have announced the letting of the former Debenhams store to Frasers Group.
Frasers Group are set to refurbish the space over the coming months before opening a Frasers. The department store will become an aspirational retail destination in Blackpool, and house an unrivalled range of beauty, fashion, home, premium and contemporary accessories and childrenswear across a comprehensive mix of hundreds of brands.
In addition, the site will see Frasers Group open a Sports Direct store. Sports Direct is Europe’s biggest retailer of sports and fitness footwear, clothing, and equipment and will bring the very best brands in sports to consumers in Blackpool.
Frasers Group will also open a Flannels in the centre. The leading luxury retailer will bring a completely new experience to the shopping destination, allowing consumers to enjoy the very best brands in luxury fashion.
The landlord was advised by Barker Proudlove and Lunson Mitchenall as joint agents.
James France, Head of Property at Frasers Group, said: “The confirmation of Frasers Blackpool marks an exciting time for the Group as we continue to expand our store portfolio across the UK & Europe. The store will bring an aspirational lifestyle proposition to the town as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to physical retail and opening leading shopping destinations in key regional markets outside of major cities.”
Ram Rasiah, Senior Director, Retail at CBRE said: “The commitment to physical retail from a brand as strong as Frasers Group cements its importance to the future success of the sector. We are hugely proud to be part of their journey in delivering world class retail offerings to key cities across the UK and Europe.”
Following its acquisition of the shopping centre in 2019, Blackpool Council has been committed to maximising its impact as a catalyst for town centre regeneration and as a key part of its strategy to aid the town’s post-pandemic recovery.
Construction of a second phase including an IMAX and multi-screen cinema, restaurant and new Wilko store, are already underway and are also due to open next year. When completed, the extension is expected to create more than 100 new jobs and attract an additional 1.2m residents and visitors to the shopping centre each year.
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said the Frasers deal was “an enormously significant moment” for the town centre.
She added: “After the closure of Debenhams in 2021, we were determined to find the right sort of replacement anchor tenant – one that would have a hugely positive impact on the Houndshill and match our ambitions for the rejuvenation of the wider town centre.”
“Our patience and perseverance have paid off. Frasers group has compelling national brands that will form a vital new anchor and cement our place as a regional shopping destination.”
Mark Robinson, co-founder of Ellandi and Chair of the national High Street Task Force, said: “We’re delighted to have secured a brand-new Frasers and Flannels for Blackpool town centre. These are leading aspirational brands that will help redefine the town centre retail offer for residents and tourists.”
Work on the second phase of Houndshill is progressing and on schedule with steelworks taking shape to build the structure that will feature ground-breaking IMAX with laser technology, as well as IMAX's 12-channel sound technology.
IMAX has signed up to deliver state-of-the-art, immersive movie experiences at the new multi-screen development which will be known as the Backlot Cinema. The complex will feature one of the largest IMAX screens in the country, standing at a massive 10.8m.
The Backlot Cinema will comprise nine screens and a total of 850 luxury seats and will be the anchor tenant of the extension. A new restaurant, The Backlot Diner is also included in the second phase along with a new 22,500 sq ft Wilko home retail store.
Blackpool Council has also announced the acquisition of the building occupied by Marks & Spencer, which has entrances on both Church Street and Victoria Street, just a few yards away from the Houndshill. The Council said that this was a “strategic acquisition” given the prime location of the building and its importance in the ongoing revitalisation of the town centre, with M&S continuing to trade from the store.