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HoF tests its new shopfit in Hull

House of Fraser has embarked on a £1.5 million refit of its Hammonds of Hull store, setting the scene for a refurbishment of the Baugur-owned group's 60-plus shops.

The Hammonds name, which has been known in Hull since 1821, will be dropped. It will be replaced by the new HoF fascia, which features a modern black and white logo.

New clothing concessions will be introduced to both menswear and womenswear. These will include Baugur-owned brands such as All Saints, Whistles and Karen Millen, which will make their debut in the city.

HoF development con-troller David Blakeney said: "Introducing Karen Millen and Whistles is a tremendous move forward. We're positioning ourselves more at the premium end of the market."

Some existing concessions are planning new shopfits and more own-buy brands will be introduced, although details have not been revealed.

A new "young accessories world", featuring shoes and accessories from Baugur's Mosaic brands, will also be introduced to the womenswear offer.

Blakeney said: "Mosaic has great expertise in shoes and accessories and we will put all that together to give customers something new."

As well as installing new flooring, lighting, fittings and fixtures, the store's departments will be reorganised across four floors. Menswear will move from the ground floor to the lower ground floor to sit with TV, audio and the wine shop, while the ground floor will feature beauty, a Shoe Studio, fashion accessories and a new Caffe Nero. Womenswear will remain on the first floor, with homewares and furniture located on the second.

The third floor, which currently houses clearance stock, will be closed for further development. It provides the possibility of a separate entrance so could be offered to a third party.

Store manager Geoff Kingston said clearance stock did not fit with the store's new positioning. "People who shop clearance don't shop the rest of the floor and vice versa," he said.

The Hull refit, which Blakeney said was a "refresh" as opposed to a complete refurbishment, will be unveiled on September 6, a week before Hull's new St Stephen's shopping centre opens directly opposite.

The next HoF store to receive a makeover will be Exeter. "Hull and Exeter will give a sense of where we're going," said Blakeney.

HAMMONDS TIMELINE

1821: Hammonds of Hull opens

1914: The store moves to its current site

1953: Site reopens after being bombed during the Second World War

1973: Hammonds bought by House of Fraser

1988-89: The store receives its last major refurbishment.

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