French Connection returning to Manchester

Hines has secured a deal with the fashion retailer to open a store at the Royal Exchange Manchester.

French Connection has agreed a 10-year lease for 2,900 sq ft at 7-9 Exchange Street for its re-entry into the city, having departed its former store, on the corner of Exchange Street and St Ann’s Square, in January 2016. The shop is due to open by early November.

Hines acquired Royal Exchange in November 2016 on behalf of Bayerische Versorgungskammer, Germany’s largest pension scheme group. The group said the letting is one of a number of deals that will deliver on its strategy to diversify the tenant mix and reposition the Royal Exchange in the market.

Sharon Bloodworth, director of retail asset management for Hines UK, said: “This letting is a significant demonstration of our move to enhance the quality of retail brands offered within this landmark building. We are delighted to provide French Connection with a bespoke unit in our building and to welcome them back to this desirable location.”

French Connection said the shop will be a concept store, the first of its kind for the retailer in the UK. A spokesperson said: “The Royal Exchange location provides us with a prime retail space in the city.

“We already know the demand for French Connection amongst local customers, which has continued over the past two years via our e-commerce and local concession channels, and we are looking forward to having a physical brand presence in such an important city.”

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