Belfast Telegraph

Luxury fashion store in Belfast could move to House of Fraser

Fashion store Cruise stocks a range of luxury designer clothing brands
Fashion store Cruise stocks a range of luxury designer clothing brands
Emma Deighan

By Emma Deighan

A luxury designer fashion store in Belfast could be on the move as it becomes part of House of Fraser's new concept store for the city, Belfast Telegraph understands.

It is believed that Cruise boutique, on the lower ground floor of Victoria Square, will uproot for a new home in the upper floor of House of Fraser.

According to one source the move will happen ahead of Christmas.

Staff at the Cruise said nothing had been "set in stone".

In May, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley - who paid £90m for the House of Fraser chain last August - announced he had plans to divide the remainder 50 House of Fraser stores in the UK into two categories.

One of those divisions will be a "mini chain" of up to seven luxury designer stores called Frasers, to include Belfast. The others will remain House of Fraser. Reports indicate that the rollout of Fraser stores will begin next year.

It is also believed that online men's beauty store Beast will make its first venture into bricks and mortar retail through the new Frasers, with Belfast marked as one of its chosen sites.

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A report by Retail and Leisure International said the business announced a UK-wide partnership with the Sports Direct chains to open 20 dedicated spaces within key stores from this autumn.

Management at Victoria Square did not comment on a potential move for Cruise.

But the Cruise relocation is not the only change in Victoria Square ahead of Christmas.

French cosmetic brand L'Occitane, which traded at 24 Ann Street for almost 15 years, will open this Thursday in a unit close to the Apple Store in Victoria Square.

Its move follows a planning application for L'Occitane's former home, by Scotco NI Ltd, which lists KFC tycoon Michael Herbert as one of its directors.

It has plans to change the use of the ground floor unit on Ann Street into a restaurant. In the planning application Scotco NI Ltd illustrates a proposed 32-seat venue with a customer service counter at the rear of the store.

KFC did not want to comment on the application but Mr Herbert told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this year that he had plans to turn Lesley Court into apartments.

Meanwhile, Mike Ashley has called for an investigation into the sportswear industry, complaining about the dominance of brands Adidas and Nike. Mr Ashley's firm, Sports Direct said the "must-have" brands hold a bargaining position which allows them to control supply and the price of their products. It also said Adidas had blocked Sports Direct from selling some of its products.

Belfast Telegraph