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Frasers Group Snaps Up Doncaster Shopping Centre As M&S Announces New Stores

Frasers is to bolster its Frenchgate store to create a flagship like its Manchester outlet pictured.

Multi-retail chain Frasers Group has acquired the Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster from The Frenchgate Limited Partnership as it continues to expand its real estate portfolio.

The 770K SF shopping centre is located within the town centre and attracts over 16 million customers a year.

The scheme currently includes retailers such as Next, H&M and TK Maxx, and Frasers said in announcing the acquisition, advised by CBRE, that the deal provides an opportunity to more than triple the size of its Sports Direct store within the centre to over 35K SF and introduce more of its brands such as USC, Game and Evans Cycles into the store.

“The acquisition of Frenchgate Shopping Centre in Doncaster further demonstrates the group’s commitment to investing into brick-and-mortar,” Frasers Group Chief Executive Michael Murray said in a statement.

“Acquiring property in key trading locations to unlock new opportunities for our retail and leisure businesses, such as Sports Direct, Everlast Gyms, Frasers and Flannels, is a key priority,” he added. “We are committed to re-inventing retail and injecting new life into high streets across the UK to bring the very best brands, environment, and experience to customers across the country.”

The deal comes as Frasers is also understood to be in discussions to buy the Princesshay shopping centre in Exeter, which is currently owned via a 50/50 joint venture between investors Nuveen and the Crown Estate. Nuveen put its stake in the scheme up for sale earlier this year with a reported £40M valuation, while Frasers Group is also believed to be trying to secure the remaining 50% from the Crown Estate.

Nuveen acquired its holding from Land Securities a decade ago, and the Princesshay estate generates more than £9.1M of total gross income annually.

In a further boost for the south west, Marks & Spencer has announced two new store openings for next year at its 2 July AGM, with plans to open a new 83K SF flagship store in Bath, relocating to a new location at British Land’s SouthGate shopping centre as part of a £17M investment which will also involve the closure of its Stall Street store in the city.

In addition, M&S said that it plans to return to Bristol with the opening of an 80K SF flagship store in Hammerson’s Cabot Circus as part of a £21M investment. Cabot Circus will complement an offer across Bristol that includes its Avonmeads, Eastgate, Imperial Park and Whiteladies Road stores as well as Cribbs Causeway and Longwell Green.

Work is currently underway to transform the Cribbs Causeway store, with completion due this autumn.