Healthcare group BUPA has appointed Fitch to design its high street retail outlets.
Sources in the property industry suggest that the group is in discussions with a major bank over acquiring a number of surplus properties.
It is thought that BUPA intends to capitalise on the authoritative “feel” of disused bank properties, of which there are an increasing number. The strategy would also allow relatively rapid expansion of a BUPA chain.
The opening of a high street chain would mark a major change to current practice in the healthcare market, in which BUPA is the largest UK operator.
BUPA declines to comment on plans it has for the development of a high street presence. A Fitch spokeswoman says the group is not in a position to comment.