Department store group House of Fraser announced on Tuesday (February 6) that it has signed an agreement to open an anchor store at the new Chester Northgate retail and leisure complex in Cheshire.
Chester Northgate is a 500,000sq ft redevelopment of the north-west quarter of Chester city centre which sits on the site of the existing Forum Shopping Centre.
It is billed as one of the most significant city centre redevelopments of the last decade and the biggest retail-led development in the north-west since Liverpool One opened in 2008.
The £300m new hub will provide 70 stores, cafes and restaurants, as well as 70 homes, a 167-bed 4* Crowne Plaza hotel, conference centre and a six-screen Picturehouse cinema.
The development will be anchored by House of Fraser and will provide room for a modern market and events space and the city’s largest car park, with 800 spaces, accessed directly from the city’s ring road.
The development is spearheaded by Cheshire West and Chester Council. Construction will start in late 2018, with opening targeted for 2021.
The new House of Fraser will offer about 100,000sq ft of retail space over three floors.It will feature a large health and beauty department – described as twice the size of traditional beauty departments – and a rooftop restaurant with views over Chester’s racecourse.
Chester Northgate will be House of Fraser’s second major UK store opening, following a 64,000sq ft anchor store at Rushden Lakes, on the edge of Rushden in Northamptonshire, which opens this year.
House of Fraser executive chairman Frank Slevin said: “Chester is an exciting location for us, being at the centre of a thriving regional economy. With its modern design, Chester Northgate will rejuvenate Chester city centre, attracting more visitors and creating a dynamic retail environment.
“The new store clearly cements our commitment to and vision for the future growth of House of Fraser. The growth of our store portfolio and the further development of House of Fraser’s multichannel offer provides solid foundations for the ongoing transformation of the business, ultimately driving a great customer experience. I look forward to the store opening in 2021.”
House of Fraser is a department store group with 59 locations across the UK and Ireland. The group has annual sales of £1.3bn and employs over 6,000 House of Fraser employees and 11,500 concession staff through over 4 millionsq ft of selling space.