Skip to main content

Major new retailer taking old Debenhams site at CastleCourt in Belfast

Published on 12 January 2024

A major high street retailer is taking on the former Debenhams store site at Belfast shopping centre CastleCourt.

It is understood brand discounter TK Maxx will return to the city centre spot, which has been largely vacant since Debenhams went bust in 2020 – taking on a huge 40,000 sq ft ground floor unit.

CastleCourt lost its key anchor tenant when Debenhams entered administration. It has since invested significantly in the centre, with a number of new outlets opening their doors, alongside entertainment offerings and The Avenue cinema.

According to CastleCourt’s own website a new “retailer” will be opening at the huge unit from spring 2024. It will be taking the majority of the ground floor space left behind when Debenhams exited, sitting beside the new New Look store.

TK Maxx is currently located not far from CastleCourt at Donegall Arcade – a property owned by Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley, who formerly owned Newcastle United.

That retail location is spread across three floors, while the new unit at CastleCourt will see TK Maxx based on one large ground floor site.

TK Maxx was previously an anchor tenant in CastleCourt, before the unit was later filled by Toys R Us in 2016.

Last year the centre announced it was adding four new businesses. That included Miniso, which sells toys, tech and stationery, creating some 15 jobs.

Poundland also opened a new store in May, adding a further 10 jobs, while New Look made its return to the shopping spot with am 8,000 sq ft unit, adding 15 jobs.

And long-term tenant Exclusive Designs also took the 8,000 sq ft unit vacated by Poundland, opening its doors in June.

The upper floor at CastleCourt has been partly filled by a cinema, named The Avenue, which opened in March.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last year, manager Leona Barr said that “hopefully towards the end of the year, we’ll have more news about the rest of that space on the ground floor”.

“We’re in very advanced talks with other retailers but I can’t talk about it as it’s sensitive at the minute. It’s looking good for CastleCourt.”

CastleCourt is owned by Northern Ireland property company Wirefox.

And last year, Australian-owned bakery Muffin Break arrived at the centre as part of a £200,000 investment, creating 15 jobs.

The chain already has one location in Newry’s Buttercrane Shopping Centre and is aiming to further increase its Northern Ireland footprint, actively looking for new franchise opportunities across the country.

Owned by the FoodCo Group, the first Muffin Break bakery café in the UK opened its doors in 2001 and has now a footprint of 65 outlets nationwide, including its two Northern Ireland locations.

Speaking at the time of the four retail announcements, Gareth Howell from Wirefox, which owns CastleCourt, said it’s the firm’s ambition to “make CastleCourt a top retail, leisure and hospitality destination in Belfast city centre”.

“We look forward to more announcements for our shoppers and the wider area as the year continues.”

Source: Belfast Telegraph (link opens in new window)