Sports Direct opening Fosse Park ‘megastore’ with a new esports gaming arena


Sports Direct is planning to open a “megastore” at Fosse Park, with a new esports gaming arena built into it.

The business – which already has a new superstore in Humberstone Gate, Leicester – is working on a 90,000 sq ft site which will be split into two parts, for Flannels and Sports Direct.

It will also include Evans cycles and an area for computer games events, under the Game brand.

The megastore will open in 2021, and will cost more than £15 million. It will create up to 200 jobs.

The news comes a year after Debenhams pulled out of plans to build a new store at Fosse Park. That troubled department store chain originally wanted to spend millions on a new anchor store at a big extension to the shopping centre. It had been in talks with Fosse Park’s owners to try to salvage the plans after going into administration in April, 2019.

Michael Murray, who heads up a division at Sports Direct parent company Frasers Group, said Flannels, which sells up-market sports and fashionwear, will occupy 50,000 sq ft of the property that the group plans to lease. That will be under a new concept, with more details being revealed next month.

The remaining 40,000 sq ft will be occupied by Sports Direct.

It will be Frasers Group’s first regional flagship store to be agreed post-Covid-19.

Work recently resumed on a £168 million, 140,000-sq ft extension to Fosse Park shopping centre, which is next to junction 21 of the M1, south of Leicester. There had been a temporary closure of the construction site to review and adjust to the impacts of Covid-19.

Mike Bell, senior asset manager at Fosse Park co-owner The Crown Estate, said: “This letting marks another milestone in the transformation of Fosse Park and we are pleased to be welcoming Frasers to the centre.

“The new store will further both our retail and leisure offering and will make a fantastic addition for our shoppers.

“We are now working closely with Blaby District Council and Frasers to finalise details and hope to share more information shortly.”

Mr Murray said the Sports Direct part of the store would also include streetwear concept USC, a new bike department by Evans and the Game esports gaming arena.

He said: “I’m proud to be in a position to bring positive news in what has been a tough six months for retail.”

He added: “Now more than ever, we must continue to push boundaries and innovate to stay relevant.”

James Keany is executive director of retail at leasing specialist CBRE, which is involved in the plans.

He said: “This multi-fascia site will transform physical retailing.

“This is another exciting new store that Frasers Group are creating which will open in 2021.”

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