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Are Concept Stores Going To Take Over The High Street?

Shoppers will soon be able to purchase items from huge ‘concept stores’ instead of having to visit several retailers to find what they need. 

Frasers Group has recently opened a new department store in the Chantry Place shopping centre in Norwich, allowing people to buy from any of its brands under one roof. 

The owners of Sports Direct, and Game are closing its individual shops in some of the areas Frasers Group plans to open concept stores, encouraging consumers to go to one location for their purchases. 

This means it can focus its maintenance services on one premises, looking after a single building, instead of multiple venues. 

Opening a concept store is also a good business move, as shoppers looking for a football pump could also be tempted by a video game or even a piece of furniture during their shopping trip. 

The first of Frasers Group’s concept stores opened in Wolverhampton in 2021, which was followed by Newbridge, Belfast, Telford, Derby and Middlesbrough. 

There are also plans to launch sites in Blackpool by the end of 2023, taking over the old Debenhams building. 

A spokesperson for Sports Direct said this will offer “Blackpool customers with larger, elevated stores from the Group’s ecosystem, and access to more of the world’s most aspirational brands”. 

Creating concept stores could be a good option for retail giants, as many have been struggling since the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. 

These include Wilko, Paperchase, and some Clintons, Iceland and Marks and Spencers stores. Boots is also expected to close 300 shops by 2024, which it hopes will “consolidate the business”. 

Frasers Group could be keen on buying some of the vacated premises, as it recently showed interest in buying the Junction 32 retail site in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. 

Sports Direct and Jack Wills, which is another brand Frasers Group owns, are already located here.