Sports Direct commits to Albion Centre

  • Sports Direct's new store at the Albion Centre in Ilkeston 

MAJOR leisure retailer Sports Direct has committed to a new store in the Albion Centre in Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Sports Direct, Britain's biggest sportswear retailer, opened its new 8,000 sq ft unit in the regional shopping centre earlier this month (July) and will join a line-up of existing retailers including B&M, Ryman, Costa, Card Factory, SELECT, Superdrug, Savers Health & Beauty and GAME.

Commercial property consultancies Innes England and JLL acted on behalf of Schroders Property Investment Management to negotiate the new ten-year lease with the retailer.

Ben Taylor, head of retail agency at Innes England, said: “Sports Direct is a high-street favourite and this is an important deal both for the Centre and Ilkeston. The retailer has upsized from a smaller store on Bath Street, which is a positive sign of consumer spend in the town and the overall attraction of the Albion Centre”.

Sports Direct started out with a single store in Maidenhead, founded by Mike Ashley in 1982. It has since expanded and is now part of an international group with around 420 stores in the UK and has become the UK’s leading sports retailer by revenue and operating profit. It also owns of a number of sport, fashion and lifestyle brands.

Darren Scott of Sports Direct said: “We are delighted to open our new store in Ilkeston. As we continue to grow throughout the UK, our ethos has never changed in that we offer our customers the biggest brands in all types of sportswear, footwear and sports equipment at low prices”.

The Albion Centre is owned by Schroder UK Real Estate Investment Trust which is managed by global asset management company Schroders.

Harry Pickering, investment manager at Schroders, commented: “We are extremely pleased with the new letting and believe Sports Direct will enhance the tenant mix and help increase footfall. The Albion Centre continues to perform well with a number of our existing tenants committing to new leases in the last 12 months.”

Innes England and JLL are marketing the last two remaining units at the Albion Centre, which is situated on the prime pedestrianised section of Bath Street.