Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct vows to create 'Harrods of the North' after building buy-up

Mike Ashley
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Sports Direct has vowed to create the "Harrods of the North" after clinching a £95million deal to buy Glasgow's Frasers building in a move that saves 800 jobs.

The retailer said it will continue to operate the 350,000sq ft site as Frasers and will invest in the property to "further elevate and enhance this iconic department store".

Plans for its revamp are being driven by its House of Fraser brand, which itself was bought by Sports Direct after collapsing into administration in August.

The company said it is "great news" for the House of Fraser workforce, including the 800 in-store jobs it says have now been saved.

The site is being bought from Glasgow City Council, which is the administering authority for The Strathclyde Pension Fund.

The deal is set to be completed in January 2020.

House of Fraser said the "Harrods of the North" vision would be realised with the site continuing to host luxury brand names including Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Prada and Gucci.

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

"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, 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."