Sports Direct plc owned USC and Sports Direct are to open in the old two-storey BHS building that has lain vacant since BHS’ collapse in Summer of 2016. Works are underway to transform the old, dusty building into a modern retail complex that’ll breathe new life into the area..
With the new stores opening, several new jobs are going to beome available; the exact number of jobs is still unclear but we expect there to be several openings for both stores individually though employees may be asked to work in the other store, if you’re looking for jobs in Leicester, it may be worth visiting the respective website’s careers section. It’s also currently unclear as to whether or not the stores will be combined or whether there’ll be two separate stores in the same building; the building is over two storeys so there are multiple formats Sports Direct may have chosen from when designing the layout. Our money is on two separate stores. As an added incentive, USC are offering a £250 gift card to winners of their New Store Competition, more details can be found here: https://www.usc.co.uk/competitions/?cid=f7c6da80-1021-461d-b32e-bfb7aca10c7a
In 2015, there were several reports of Mike Ashley, Sports Direct CEO, deciding to close stores USC stores across the UK after Republic, Sports Direct’s fashion arm, brought the struggling fashion chain out of administration with the leases being transferred to Republic and the USC trademark being transferred to another Sports Direct company shortly beforehand; though dozens of redundancies were made with over two hundred employees only receiving fifteen minutes notice that they’ll be made redundant (which saw then CEO, David Forsey, charged with a criminal offence for failing to notify authorities of the impending lay off), the move allowed the remaining stores to continue trading saving hundreds of jobs across the country. Had another subsidiary of Sports Direct plc not bought USC out of administration, the entire brand would have collapsed and with it hundreds more job losses. Philip Duffy of USC’s joint administrator from Duff & Phelps said, “The only potential purchaser I would consider would be a Sports Direct group member because USC only owned the stock in the stores… It didn’t have any warehouse stock so it couldn’t replenish the stores. It didn’t own the brand, USC. USC [the brand] was owned by Sports Direct,” which is entirely true as Sports Direct had transferred the leases and trademark from USC into other companies owned by Sports Direct which, though legal, is a bit underhanded given the redundancies and losses suppliers made as a result of the restructuring.
The brand appears to be fully revived with new USC and Sports Direct stores opening in Darington and Leicester and we expect to see more USC stores brought back over the coming years. We’ve reached out to USC and Sports Direct plc for comment on the number of jobs expected to come available at their new, Sports Direct USC Gallowtree Gate store. The nearest Sports Direct to the store is only around the corner on Humberstone Gate and beyond that, stores can be found in Fosse Park, Thurmaston Retail Park and Nuneaton. As for USC, it’ll be the second store in Leicester City Centre with the first USC opening in the Highcross.
Not far from BHS is the old, empty Fenwicks building that closed in 2017 has been purchased by developers Aimrok Holdings and has sought planning approval for four retail units, a restaurant and champagne bar as well as a gym built across the ground floor and basement with ninety self-contained flats for rent built across the upper floors. The move is expected to create 150 new construction jobs and a similar number of jobs once the building works have been completed.
In the Highcross, where House of Fraser used to stand, we will see JD Sports expanding into that space as well as a mini golf centre, Treetop Adventure Golf and two new restaurants, according to Leicester Highcross.