Sports gear, fashion and bikes – that’s what York shoppers can expect when new stores open in the former BHS building.
As we revealed back in January, the huge city centre building was bought by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct Group for £10.75m.
So it’s not surprising to learn that all the newly-announced shops belong to his huge retailing group.
Sports Direct itself is one of them. YorkMix understands that the branch on Davygate will close and transfer its business to the bigger store.
But there are also two stores which are new to the city centre.
Trendy designer names
Evans Cycles is one of the new shops. The specialist bike shop was bought out of administration by Sports Direct in October 2018 for £8 million.
A turnaround plan for the chain suggested half of its branches would close down. But now a York city centre store will join the one operating out-of-town at Monks Cross.
The third store is branded fashion retailer USC.
Another part of the Sports Direct empire, it is described as a “premier destination for branded clothing, footwear and accessories” aimed at “dedicated fashion followers and trend alert men and women”.
It stocks brands which include G Star, Diesel, Firetrap, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Replay & 883 Police.
Confidence in Coney Street
YorkMix has reached out to the Sports Direct group to get more details, including the planned opening date, and we’ll update if they respond.
The old BHS building is in the shape of a Y, with entrances on Coney Street, Feasegate and New Street.
The new shops come on top of the announcement in April that upmarket fashion store Flannels was to open in the BHS unit fronting New Street.
This is yet another Mike Ashley chain – his group acquired full control of Flannels in 2017.
News that the stores were coming was welcomed by Andrew Lowson, executive director of the York BID (Business Improvement District). He said:
It’s great to see a unit – and a large unit at that – filled after three years of it being vacant.
The fact that a well-known retailer is showing such confidence in Coney Street, despite the fact that there are a number of empty units down there, is also very encouraging.
Hopefully this will send a signal to other retailers that there are opportunities on Coney Street.