Mike Ashley's Frasers Group is seeking permission for a multi-million pound makeover of its luxury flagship store in Glasgow's Buchanan Street.

House of Fraser, a stalwart of the city's retailing scene for the past 170 years, is set to embark on a "significant" refurbishment with a focus on new high-end brands and partners. Work is expected to beging within 12 months of receiving planning permission, with an application to be filed imminently.

The move comes as Frasers Group, majority-owned by Mr Ashley, seeks to further strengthen its foothold in the premium league of retailing. Formerly known as Sports Direct International, the business was established as a value retailer but has moved into high-end fashion via a string of acquisitions under its "elevation strategy".

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“Glasgow is a leading city for luxury retail, and we are looking forward to the prospect of opening our first Frasers flagship in this iconic building," said David Epstein, managing director of premium and luxury at Frasers Group.

"We are investing significantly in the redevelopment of the site to create one of the most exciting new luxury retail destinations in Europe. In line with our elevation strategy, this will provide the group with the platform to collaborate with world-leading luxury brand partners and bring new innovative retail experiences to Glasgow.”

Now spanning 350,000sq ft, House of Fraser first opened in Glasgow in 1849 as a small drapery shop on the corner of Argyle and Buchanan streets. By the end of the Second World War it had grown into a national chain, expanding significantly through acquisitions.

The Herald: Mike AshleyMike Ashley (Image: Agency)

House of Fraser went into administration in 2018 and was then acquired by Sports Direct, the UK's largest sporting goods retailer. Since then, Frasers Group has acquired a number of other premium brands such as Jack Wills, Base Childrenswear, Giulio and Nicholas Deakins.

The group has also been strengthening its hand in the retail property market, having earlier this year completed the acquisition of Dundee's main shopping centre in deal thought to be worth about £30 milion. The deal for the Overgate Centre came hot on the heels of the £58m purchase of The Mall shopping centre in Luton.

Mr Ashley stepped back from running Frasers in May of last year when he installed his son-in-law Michael Murray as chief executive. He left the board in October but continues to control more than two-thirds of the shares in the business.

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News of the investment in Glasgow came as Frasers Group said it is set to lay off up to 200 employees in a bid to streamline its business following numerous acquisitions.

"We are reviewing our team structures to identify efficiencies and streamline processes, and we have entered a consultation period with colleagues affected by these changes," a spokesperson told the Reuters news agency.