Sports Direct buys Frasers Glasgow store for more than cost of entire HoF chain

The long-running saga around House of Fraser stores continues to rumble on and news emerged on Friday that its new owner Sports Direct is to acquire the freehold of the 350,000 sq ft Frasers building in Glasgow in a £95 million deal.


Sports Direct wants Frasers to be the "Harrods of the North" - Wikimedia

Given that Sports Direct paid just £90 million for the whole of the HoF chain, that £95 million price tag for the listed building is a big deal.

It’s acquiring the freehold from Glasgow City Council, which is the administering authority for The Strathclyde Pension Fund, and the deal will complete in January 2020.

The company said it will continue to operate Frasers and will invest in the property to "further elevate and enhance this iconic department store”. Frasers hadn’t been slated for closure under the original HoF CVA plan, but the latest news underlines Sports Direct’s commitment to it and it’s a boost for both the city and the roughly 800 staff who work there.

The company also reiterated its upscale vision for the HoF chain as a whole and said that it wants Frasers to be the “Harrods of the North”.

Kevin Sims of CBRE, which represented HoF, said: “This is a fantastic deal for Glasgow and Scotland. It is an iconic store and much of the success of Buchanan Street over the last 20 years has been built around having Frasers as an important anchor tenant for the street. This fully cements House of Fraser's intent to create a luxury department store business.”

With Glasgow being one the key UK retail markets behind London, it’s certainly an important move. But the fate of many other HoF stores remains in doubt and the £95 million investment in Glasgow could harden the resolve of some landlords against accepting no-rent deals as negotiations continue.

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