In its latest sign of confidence in brick-and-mortar properties, Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has bought Boucher Shopping Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The group announced Friday it had agreed the sale of the scheme with Sam Morrison on behalf of Corbo Properties. The terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“Boucher Road is widely regarded as the key strategic out-of-town retail destination in Northern Ireland,” said James France, head of property at Frasers Group. “Boucher Shopping Park sits at the heart of this, offering an unrivalled retail line up to its customers.”
Frasers Group, which owns brands Sports Direct, Flannels, House of Fraser and Jack Wills, has been growing quickly in recent years by snapping up other businesses, even during the pandemic when many companies put their expansions on hold.
Just last month, the group bought e-commerce group Studio Retail out of administration.
A big part of Frasers Group’s growth strategy has been to invest in physical stores despite the growing shift of shoppers to online channels.
France continued: “Over the past two years, the group has been investing heavily into the Irish market, with a business-wide commitment of over 500,000 square feet of retail space across all fascia’s.
“This acquisition not only bolsters our commitment to the Irish market but allows us to further invest and modernise this asset into an aspirational shopping destination.”
Frasers Group said the acquisition of Boucher Shopping Park demonstrates its commitment to “investing into bricks-and-mortar property as part of the business’ wider elevation strategy”.
Another key aspect of its elevation strategy is the repositioning of the group towards a more upmarket segment.
The retailer has in recent years snapped up stakes in brands like Hugo Boss and Mulberry, and increased its focus on its premium and luxury stores.