Sports Direct buys Glasgow House of Fraser in £95m deal

Sports Direct buys Glasgow House of Fraser in £95m deal

Sports Direct (LON: SPD) has bought the House of Fraser building in Glasgow, in a move that saves 800 jobs.

The 350,000 sq ft site cost Mike Ashley £95 million, who has vowed to “further elevate and enhance this iconic department store”.

The deal will be completed by January 2020 when the building will be transformed into the “Harrods of the north,” with luxury brands including Hermes (EPA: RMS), Christian Louboutin and Prada (FRA: PRP).

“We are overwhelmed and proud to own such an iconic destination,” said Michael Murray, the head of elevation at Sports Direct.

“Acquiring the freehold enables us to elevate and invest in the store in order to partner with a broad range of luxury brands in future. This is fantastic news for all parties.”

Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow city council, said: “A major investment on this kind of scale is a clear vote of confidence in Glasgow, and credit must also go to hundreds of Frasers staff who are absolutely integral to the business’s success and its enduring popularity with city shoppers.

“With the future of this iconic retailer’s Glasgow presence secured, we look forward to the new owners building on its cherished relationship with shoppers and reputation as a valued city employer for almost 170 years.”

Sports Direct bought House of Fraser earlier this year in a £90 million rescue deal, acquiring 59 stores across the UK.

Ashley has vowed to turn House of Fraser into the “Harrods of the high street”. He has promised to keep as many stores open as possible but jobs losses will be inevitable.

The Sports Direct boss has blamed “greedy” landlords for the closure of three House of Fraser department stores.

Stores in Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon will close after landlords refused to cut rents. The store in Bath is also at risk of closure.