Frasers department store to anchor Blackpool's former Debenhams building including new Sports Direct and Flannels

The new anchor for Blackpool’s former Debenhams store has finally been confirmed – and it’s Frasers.
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The new department store will house a range of beauty, fashion, home, premium and contemporary accessories and childrenswear across a mix of hundreds of brands. In addition, the site will see Frasers Group open Sports Direct store and a new branch of luxury fashion store Flannels.

Blackpool Council and the centre’s management company, Ellandi, announced the letting of the former Debenhams store to Frasers Group after much negotiation, ending speculation about the future of the building. Frasers Group will refurbish the space over the coming months before opening.

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James France, Head of Property at Frasers Group, said: “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.”

A Frasers storeA Frasers store
A Frasers store

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.

Coun Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said the Frasers deal was “an enormously significant moment” for the town centre. She said: “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. 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.

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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. 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.