Deansgate House of Fraser set to close

Staff at the House of Fraser on Manchester’s Deansgate are understood to have been told that the store will close in January.

In August it was revealed that Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct retail group had bought the stricken department store business, just hours after it was put into administration, in a £90m deal that saw Sports Direct take over the group’s full estate of 59 stores.

Many shops across the country had been earmarked for closure before the purchase, and in the North West the future of Altrincham, Birkenhead and Carlisle’s House of Frasers were in question, although Manchester’s department store was thought to be safe.

However last month Sports Direct announced it had successfully completed rent negotiations at 15 locations, including Altrincham, Birkenhead and Carlisle.

In Manchester, House of Fraser occupies a major island site on Deangsate, in a building formerly operated by and still referred to as Kendals. The store opened late this morning after meetings with staff; Manchester City Council councillor Pat Karney is currently on site talking to staff.

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Manchester retail is really struggling isn’t it? Stick to Cheshire Oaks or the Trafford Centre if it’s raining.

By PDM

A shame, but I guess the landlord knows the building isn’t going to sit empty for long.

By Mike

Over to you John Lewis.

By Elephant

@PDM It’s not struggling any more than the rest of the country’s is

By Alex B.

It is though, look at the state of King Street, every other city has had retail investment in recent years, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol, were losing retail here.

By PDM

Better and more attractive locations elsewhere !

By Cal

Firstly, what a pathetic comment PDM. It’s a countrywide issue and all retail is struggling.

My guessing is the Landlord is not prepared to reduce the rent yet again and knows that he can find a new tenant tomorrow. Very sad news, especially for the staff.

For the future, the building could become a fantastic landmark hotel. It’s location is perfect for that. Fill it full of Art Deco splendour!

Apartments is a definite no no!

By Steve

What a shame. Real piece of Manchester History. Thought Sports Direct were planning on Harrods of the high street. Kendals would have been perfect. Very sorry for the staff.

By David

Very sad, but ALL retail is doomed, unless the Councils cancel car park charges and Business Rates are reduced. Retail simply can’t compete in an unequal world with online.

By Steve Birchall

Elephant – There’s now way John Lewis are going to take it on. They have categorically said that Manchester city centre had had it’s chance long ago which is why they chose the Trafford Centre and Cheadle Hulme as alternative locations. Plus they are also struggling along with the rest. Makes no sense whatsoever

By Steve

Agreed. A third John Lewis within GM would be highly unlikely – especially in the current retail climate

By Anon

Worth remembering the 2004 deal when private Irish investors paid £60m for the store. Immediately before the sale, House of Fraser bought it from Prudential for £45.2m, and then agreed the sale-and-leaseback netting themselves £15m before costs.

By Yawn

Spice shop is a fantastic idea !!!!!

By Cal

This would make a fantastic Primark

By Primani

This is obviously bad for the staff but I fear that there could be a real chance that this building remains empty for some time. No retail tenant is going to take it on as they’re all struggling, as widely reported.

I can’t see how it could be converted to hotel use (or resi for that matter) unless there’s no rooms with no windows. Conversion to office space maybe?

By Raj

Raj, come on please! It has hotel conversion written all over it. There are windows. They have just been hidden at the moment. A good developer and a good hotel operator could turn this in to something amazing.

By Steve

Whether unlikely or not, it’d be a great John Lewis and would re-invigorate King St on the back of it.

By Bo

Ironic isn’t it? On the day House of Fraser say that Kendals will close with the loss of ’00s of jobs Amazon announce that 600 jobs will be coming to the Northern Quarter.

By Obswerver

I agree with Steve’s hotel comment.

By Elephant

Such a shame. Feel sorry for the staff. Let’s hope this beautiful art deco building is not destroyed.

By Jean

Is it listed

By Anonymous

Sad news but a perfect location for John Lewis!

By A Cynical

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