Published: 04/12/2013 10:30 - Updated: 04/12/2013 10:29

House of Fraser store at The Grosvenor Centre in Northampton to shut in March 2014

Written byLAWRENCE JOHN

A flagship store in Northampton will close in March.

The landmark House of Fraser in the Grosvenor Centre will be shutting in March 2014.

This news will come to a shock to many shoppers who will have used the store (which used to be known as Beatties) for many years.

About 60 House of Fraser staff are under threat of loosing their jobs but it is expected some will be offered the chance to relocate within the company.

The reason for the closure was House of Fraser were unable to negotiate a new lease the keep the store in the town centre.

A House of Fraser spokesperson said: “It is with regret that House of Fraser Northampton will cease to trade.

“Despite detailed negotiations with our landlords we were unfortunately unable to influence the outcome and the current property lease will come to an end early.

“We have notified staff members and will make every effort to redeploy them within House of Fraser wherever possible.

“We will also be working with local businesses on this matter.

“It is anticipated that the store will cease to trade by the end of March 2014.”

Despite this,it is not all doom and gloom for Northampton as two major stores, Next and Primark are set to expand in the town centre.

Legal & General Property have announced it has agreed lettings with Primark and Next at the Grosvenor Centre, as they both look to expand their presence and commit for the long term.

Relocating from smaller premises, Primark, the high street fashion retailer, will take a new store in a key position within the Grosvenor Centre which is three times larger than its current unit at the end of Abingdon Street.

Next, the British multinational clothing, footwear and home products retailer, will occupy a 16,500 sq ft store alongside Primark on the ground floor of the Grosvenor Centre, on a 15 year lease, moving from its 1980s, smaller unit on Market Walk.

Both retailers plan to open at the centre within the next 18 months.

These two lettings coincide with the recent announcement that the Grosvenor Centre will undergo an extensive refurbishment programme, costing circa £3 million, in order to rejuvenate its retail offer, providing a bright, open and modern shopping experience.

The new-look Grosvenor Centre is due to be complete in September 2014, subject to the appropriate planning consents, in order to be ready in good time for the 2014 Christmas trading period.

Simon Russian, Head of Retail Development at Legal & General Property, said: “We are delighted to welcome Primark and Next to the Grosvenor Centre and feel these popular stores will make an extremely strong addition to the retail line up as we look to inject significant time and money into rejuvenating the Centre’s look and feel.

“Moreover, with both retailers currently located in smaller stores that no longer meet their modern day requirements, this is a very important step forward for Northampton, signalling the long term commitment of two well liked brands to remaining within the town centre, as well as expanding and centralising their shopping presence.”

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