Mike Ashely’s Frasers Group has snapped up The Mall in Luton in a £58m deal as the retail giant expresses its “confidence in the future of the UK high street”.
The Mall in Luton spans 900,000 sq. ft of space and is home to more than 150 retailers including Primark, TK Maxx, and H&M. It was put up for sale by Capital and Regional last year.
Frasers Group, which also owns brands such as Sports Direct, said that it was a “key retail destination” and the acquisition showed its commitment to the “long-term future of physical retail”.
The Mall in Luton first opened as The Arndale Centre in 1972 and was renamed in the 1990s.
James France, Group Head of Real Estate said: “Frasers Group is pleased to have acquired this key retail destination in Luton. We continue to have confidence in the future of the UK high street and remain committed to investing in sites which display huge potential.
“We look forward to engaging with tenants in the centre to ensure a smooth transition.”
It confirms speculation last month that Ashely was gearing up to buy two shopping centers in a £100m deal, which could signify that the retail sector might be starting to stabilise.
It comes as the Covid-19 pandemic and huge growth in online shopping in recent years slashed UK shopping centres’ revenues, forcing some stores to close.
Data from MSCI Real Assets shows that since June 2018 the average value of shopping centres has declined by 67 per cent.