Future of Oxford Street’s House of Fraser store uncertain as refurbishment announced
The House of Fraser store on Oxford Street is to be redeveloped with a £100 million investment, with new office and leisure space taking over the majority of the building, leaving the retailer’s future tenancy in the site uncertain.
Westminster City Council’s Planning Committee granted permission to Public Properties Establishment on Tuesday evening to refurbish the store on 318 Oxford Street.
According to the developer’s plans, six floors of the building will be transformed into offices, with an indoor pool and gym area and a rooftop restaurant with a 360-degree view added alongside existing retail space. It has not yet been announced when building work will begin.
The cash-injection will also see repairs made to the store’s exterior, which is currently secured with netting to protect shoppers on the street from falling debris.
Disruption caused by building works, including to its entrances, could hurt footfall for the retailer.
Tim Barnes, West End Ward Councillor, said: "Oxford Street has suffered particularly badly during the pandemic, but COVID-19 just accelerated changes to retail habits that were already taking place.
"By investing in this flagship building, the vibrancy of Oxford Street can be assured for residents, visitors and workers."
It is understood that House of Fraser will trade from the building in the short term but it is not known whether it plans to trade from the site in the long term.
Nearby John Lewis has also won planning permission to convert a large part of its Oxford Street flagship store into offices while Marks & Spencer will be transforming part of its Marble Arch site into offices and leisure facilities.