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No date for House of Fraser move to Wolverhampton's Mander Centre

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

No date has been set for high-street giant House of Fraser's move to Wolverhampton's Mander Centre, raising doubts over whether it will happen before the end of the year.

Beatties was sold earlier this year

A Frasers concept store is set to open across multiple floors, replacing Debenhams in the shopping centre which closed earlier this year after a disastrous short stay in the city.

The retailer is believed to be pressing ahead with the move from its current home in the Beatties building, despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

But Mander Centre bosses told the Express & Star there were currently "no confirmed dates" for the arrival of Frasers, meaning it is looking increasingly unlikely the launch will happen before the end of the year. House of Fraser could not be reached for comment.

Its launch will bring a desperately-needed boost for the city's main shopping centre following the loss of anchor store Debenhams and the pandemic which has plunged the already-struggling high street into further crisis. The move had been due to happen in the summer before the pandemic struck.

The Frasers outlet will be among the first multi-brand stores featuring a mix of billionaire businessman Mike Ashley's retail empire, from high-end Flannels to discount Sports Direct.

Frasers is set to open in the old Debenhams store

Beatties was sold for £3 million earlier this year to an investor based in the south of England and it is understood plans are in the pipeline to convert the iconic Victoria Street building into a mix of retail and residential use. No plans have yet been formally lodged.

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Wolverhampton Council says it is in contact with the new owner but has not provided any more details on future plans.

Councillor Wendy Thompson, opposition leader in Wolverhampton, said she wanted to see progress on the Frasers move soon.

She said: "I thought it was going to shut so they could get into the Debenhams store, but nothing seems to be happening.

"We really need to see this happening, we want to see activity in the city centre."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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