House of Fraser has unveiled plans for an own-brand food range and food hall designed to rival that of Selfridges’, as phase two of its £30m redevelopment of Rackhams in Birmingham steps up a gear.
Kinnersley Kent will create the own-brand packaging and basement food hall, nominally called World of Food. The activity comes as rumours of a bid for the department store chain, by Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter, circulate the City.
Details of the packaging and the interiors are remaining under wraps, but the proposed World of Food is scheduled to launch as a trial at House of Fraser’s Rackhams store in September.
It is a new initiative for the retailer, which currently has food areas but no ‘credible food offer’, according to Kinnersley Kent founder-partner Nick Kent. ‘[The food hall] is very important to House of Fraser,’ he adds
Kinnersley Kent will also revamp a cosmetics hall and shoe department in addition to the food hall, as part of the second phase development at Rackhams.
The first phase was completed last autumn (News, DW 31 October 2002).
The move is one of several initiatives taken by the retailer, as it steps up its activity in the face of increased competition. It headhunted former Harvey Nichols food market controller Tony Sweet in February 2002 as head of food to head up its fledgling food offering, and opens its first non-UK store, in Dublin, next year.
A store in the heart of London’s City is set to open in September, and will focus on luxury clothing and accessories, but will not offer food or homewares.