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London flagship for Sports Direct's Flannels

Flannels, the premium multibrand retailer owned by Sports Direct, plans to open a three-floor central London flagship in 2016. 

The exact location of the store is not yet known. However, property sources suggested it is likely to be Conduit Street, Covent Garden or a unit off Regent Street.

The business, which has eight stores in the UK and a transactional website, has moved to a new headquarters just off Oxford Street.

It is also planning to open a store in Plymouth. Flannels has not given a date for the launch, but it is recruiting staff for the store, including casual sales assistants, who will be employed on zero-hours contracts.

“This role has no guaranteed hours of work, hours of work can therefore vary from week to week and, as a result, there may be weeks when no hours of work are offered,” one job advert reads.

Sports Direct, founded by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, has previously been criticised for employing up to 75% of its store workers on such terms.

In September, Sports Direct said it was introducing a new store concept for Flannels but would not provide further details.

Flannels was founded in Cheshire in 1976 by current managing director Neil Prosser. Sports Direct bought a majority 51% stake in the business for an undisclosed sum in 2012 and its chief executive, Dave Forsey, is listed as a director at Flannels.

Flannels sells menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories from brands such as Hugo Boss, Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Dolce & Gabbana. It also stocks Stone Island, CP Company and 7 For All Mankind, which are part of brand agency Fourmarketing, 25% of which is owned by Sports Direct.

The premium retailer had a turnover of £22.7m for the year to April 2014, up from £19.6m the year before, but made a loss of £1.5m.

Flannels declined to comment. 

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