Anchor store celebrates turning 30 with refit

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SHOPPERS can look forward to a reinvigorated shopping destination as House of Fraser in thecentre:mk celebrates its third decade with a stunning refit.

As this paper celebrates its 30th birthday, the House of Fraser store is undergoing a fabulous £4.5 million refurbishment to mark its own special anniversary.

The milestone makeover began earlier this summer, with the changes designed to create a premium shopping environment.

It was in 1981 that thecentre:mk welcomed House of Fraser – then known as Dickens and Jones – as a store to entice customers through the doors.

Since then the comprehensive retail outlet has become an anchor store for the shopping centre.

Significant upgrades are now being made to the branch to create a better and more effective use of space.

The interior improvements will see the introduction of a brand new home department with styles to appeal to all types of homemaker, from the traditional to the contemporary.

Further alterations will include fantastic new brands and the introduction of a ‘world of shoes’ and ‘world of accessories’, premium concepts that have proved successful in the brand’s flagship stores.

House of Fraser is also working with thecentre:mk’s joint owners Hermes and PRUPIM to create a double-height glass-fronted feature entrance to the store on Sunset Walk.

This will let more light into the Grade II listed shopping centre and transform the store to boost the shopping experience for customers.

Steve Bluff, general manager at House of Fraser, said: “This is the first major refurbishment since the store opened.

“Combined with the introduction of major new brands, it will offer our existing customers more choice and an enhanced shopping experience as well as attracting new customers to the centre.

“It really will be a fantastic department store which Milton Keynes will feel proud of.”

The House of Fraser refurbishment is just one of the changes occurring at thecentre:mk this year. Shoppers in Milton Keynes are spoilt for choice when it comes to big brand shops and favourite places to eat but improvements are crucial to keep the listed building moving with the times.

Anthony Ross, Asset Manager at Cushman & Wakefield Investors and spokesperson for thecentre:mk’s Joint Owners, described the significance of the House of Fraser refit.

He said: “This builds on the improvements made at Destination Dining and the premium retail quarter in the last year, with many new retailers being introduced into the centre and existing retailers upgrading their units.

“It is part of the owners’ long-term strategy to revitalise the shopping offer within the centre, while respecting the important features of the listed building, so as to provide the best shopping experience to the residents of Milton Keynes.”

The store continues to trade as normal and work is due to be completed in early November.

Customers are urged to keep an eye out for more information in store and online about the new brands coming to House of Fraser in the coming months.

> House of Fraser in thecentre:mk is sponsoring the Style Masked Ball 2011, to be held on Friday 28 October at 6.30pm at Whittlebury Park near Towcester.

Tickets cost £55 of which £5 goes directly to The Eve Appeal, a charity which funds vital research for gynaecological cancers.

Visit or telephone 01908 651232 for tickets.