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Manchester Kendals announces closure as Amazon promises new jobs for the city

Friday 19 October 2018

AS STAFF at Manchester iconic Kendals store, home of House of Fraser, is to close, retail experts from the University of Salford comment on what it means for retail in the modern economy.

Professor Dave Spicer, Dean of the Business School at the University of Salford, has a retail background having worked for Woolworths in a store operations role.

Commenting on Kendals closure he said: “This is obviously one of Mike Ashley’s first moves after buying House of Fraser.

“It is interesting that this news has come on the same day that Amazon has announced 600 new hi tech jobs in the city. There can be no clearer sign of changing times. The old retail model is fading away and a new model is replacing it.

“If retailers aren’t destinations they are vulnerable and I saw that first hand from my time at Woolworths. More focused brands replaced Woolworths and the same looks to be happening here.” 

And Gordon Fletcher, retail expert from the University of Salford Business School, said: “With the news of the closure of House of Fraser on Deansgate it is worth considering the history of the site itself and the prospects for the Kendals building reblossoming with new focus and purpose. 

“The high street and the House of Fraser are changing but what remains is Manchester's fond collective memory of the building - including the persistence of the name Kendals - as an icon of the city centre and of the city's attitude of independence. These are features that Mike Ashley's group or any potential buyer may want to consider in determining the future fate of the building.”

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Sam Wood

0161 295 5361