Mike Ashley adds gyms to the mix for new high-end retail roll out
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Mike Ashley adds gyms to the mix for new high-end retail roll out

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Frasers Group will open three new regional flagship Flannels-branded retail stores during 2021 – each of which will feature fitness studios.

The Mike Ashley-owned retail group is betting on a recovery for British high streets with the plans, which will see stores opening in Liverpool, Leicester and Sheffield.

As well as a seven-floor Flannels megastore on Liverpool's iconic Parker Street, Frasers will convert the existing House of Fraser store at Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre into a Flannels site. The third location is a new development at Leicester’s Fosse Park shopping centre. The Flannels brand concentrates in retailing high end luxury brands.

All three stores will feature large fitness studios – although exact details regarding facilities and branding are yet to be confirmed.

In a statement, Frasers Group said: "We are now considering further investment for the Flannels business and will announce further details with our full-year results in Summer 2021."

Previously, Frasers Group has revealed plans to open 15 new Flannels stores over the next five years.

Flannels currently has 40 stores open across the UK, including a national flagship on London’s Oxford Street.

Frasers Group’s head of elevation Michael Murray said: “Liverpool is the fifth largest retail centre in the country, and in our opinion underserved – we’ll be the first and only multi-category destination to mark the city.

“The market has an unmatched appetite for the type of luxury we do best. We’re incredibly excited to deliver a world-class experience to the city and have no doubts on the success of our strategy.”

In August 2020, Frasers Group acquired the fitness assets of DW Sports – which included 73 health clubs – out of administration in a deal worth around £37m.

At the time, Frasers said the acquisition complements the existing gym portfolio and that it will operate the sites under the Everlast brand.

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