House of Fraser has revealed that it will open its first store at an out-of-town retail and leisure complex in late August, when the department store group becomes an anchor tenant of Rushden Parks in Northamptonshire.
With 64,000sq ft of retail space, the store will be the retailer’s first to open in nearly nine years and its first ‘green’ branch, meeting the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment and Management) sustainable building certification.
BREEAM is a scheme that specifies requirements for the building and operations to maximise its performance in terms of energy and climate change, resource, water and waste management.
The scheme also takes into account that the Rushden Lakes development is adjacent to protected wildlife natural habitats. House of Fraser has partnered with The Wildlife Trust BCN (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire), which is managing these habitats, to ensure protection of the local biodiversity.
The interior of the store is designed to connect with the natural setting and will include features such as a living wall.
Designed by the Green Infrastructure Consultancy, it will be 6 metres wide and 8 metres tall spanning over two floors positioned next to the escalators.
The wall will be home to more than 2,000 indoor plants including species such as the familiar Philodendron and more unusual plants such as the Chinese Evergreen.
Dr Dorothy Maxwell, head of sustainability at House of Fraser, said: “Being sensitive to the wildlife in and around Rushden Lakes has been a priority for House of Fraser, as well as making the store meet high environmental standards.
“As a responsible retailer, we are delighted to be based in such as beautiful natural setting and aim to protect it and share this experience with our customers.”
Rushden Lakes is owned by the Crown Estate which is funding the £140 million scheme. Surrounded by 200 acres of wetlands, the retail park concept is described as ‘one of a kind that brings together shopping and eating alongside more unusual outdoor actives such as canoeing’.
A spokesperson for The Crown Estate said: “We’re excited to welcome House of Fraser to Rushden Lakes, a shopping and leisure destination like no other.
“House of Fraser is an anchor retailer for Rushden Lakes and will bring a host of exciting new fashion brands, fabulous beauty and the best in homeware to Northamptonshire.”
The department store will introduce 50 new brands and include a Champagne bar on the first floor along with a Caffé Nero on the ground floor.
House of Fraser is a department store group with 59 locations across the UK and Ireland plus two small dot.com concept stores.
The Group’s record annual sales (ex-VAT) for 2014/15 were £1.3 billion. Its 6,800 House of Fraser staff and 13,000 concession staff trade across more than 4 million sq ft of selling space.