Atakdor - Flannels Store, Leicester City Centre
When the Gallowgate branch of BHS closed it doors for the last time, it left a prime building vacant in the heart of Leicester city centre. The opportunity was seized by the Sports Direct Group, who wanted to regenerate the site to create a 100,000ft² store. This “Selfridges of sports retail” brings together Sports Direct with the premium retail brandsUSC and Flannels while still retaining enough space to house a fully equipped Everlast Gym.
Gaining planning permission for the development took time, sensitivity and patience. An application to Historical England by the The Leicester group of the Victorian Society had resulted in parts of the old building had been granted Grade II-listed status.
With one in four city centre shops standing empty, there was a real need to strike a balance between over-development and no development at all. The fit-out was already a massive undertaking due to the size of the site.
With the face-lift complete and the store now open there is real optimism that shoppers will be attracted back from the Highcross Centre . The inclusion of USC and Flannels outlets is a bold statement of intent by the new owners.
USC stocks quality clothes from some famous names, including Boss, Calvin Klein, DKNY and Lacoste, while Flannels sells luxury brands like Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. Well known, designer goods with a high ticket price, that sometimes attract the wrong kind of attention.
Atakdor was developed in partnership with the retailer to deter sustained, planned attacks on its premises. Targeted by criminals gangs because they were know to carry small, expensive merchandise that would be easy to remove and relatively simple to sell on.
A combination of door security technologies, such as Atakcore and Leafshield, is used to frustrate direct attacks using professional powertools and cutting equipment.
The heavy duty, heavy weight single and double door-sets are fitted with high security hardware and drop bars as standard and present a formidable barrier to would be intruders.
There is a real sense of relief that new life has been breathed into this famous old site. There is also genuine optimism for its future trading success. We like to think that Atakdor has contributed in some small way to securing its future.