Flannels (retail)

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FounderNeil Prosser
HeadquartersWigan, United Kingdom
Number of locations
OwnerSports Direct International[1]
Neil Prosser
ParentSports Direct International

Flannels, also known as The Flannels Group, is a chain of high end department stores in the United Kingdom specialising in luxury fashion clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women.[2] It was founded by Neil Prosser in 1976, who remains the managing director today.[3]

By 2014 Flannels had stores open in Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Nottingham including Manchester’s Life store and Flannels’ Lowry Outlet store in Salford Quays.[4] By the summer of 2016, a new Flannels stores had opened in Sunderland, Gateshead's Metrocentre, Swindon, Cardiff, Silverburn shopping centre Glasgow and Plymouth; the store now has a location in Middlesbrough, Denton, Southport,[5] and its most sought-after location, Auchinlea, Glasgow; which opened its doors in November 2018.

In 2012, sportswear giant Sports Direct bought a majority 51% stake in Flannels.[6]

As of May 2019, 75% of reviews on Trustpilot rated their experience with Flannels as 'bad' [7]


The current managing director Neil Prosser founded Flannels in 1976 with a menswear store in Knutsford, Cheshire.[8] After four years he opened a second outlet in Altrincham’s Goose Green[9] to much success and the inevitable happened in 1987 when Flannels opened a store in Manchester city centre; this ‘flagship’ store introduced new labels to the city for the first time such as Giorgio Armani, Canali, Paul Smith, CP Company and Stone Island.[10][11]

Based on the necessity to divide more casual and formal ranges, the ‘Life’ store on Manchester’s Old Bank Street was born selling a much younger, street-based style of product.[12]

1994 marked the year that Flannels expanded into the womenswear market, opening two new shops in Manchester’s Royal Exchange Arcade.[12] A Life store in Birmingham and an accessories store in Leeds (where a Flannels store had opened a year earlier in 1993) also opened in this year.[9]

Neil Prosser’s friendship with successful retailer Jim Gibson led to a joint venture in 1995 .[12] with a women and menswear store working under the name Cruise Flannels being opened in Nottingham – and subsequently in Birmingham and Newcastle in 1996.

In February 2000, Cruise Flannels Birmingham and Nottingham were rebranded to become solely Flannels sites as Prosser and Gibson parted ways after growing to 17 stores nationwide.[12] In May 2004, Flannels Cardiff opened its doors – including a restaurant.[13]

In April 2006, the first Flannels store in Liverpool opened in the city’s luxury shopping destination, the Metquarter.[12] A flagship Flannels store was then opened in the 2008 development, Liverpool One,[14] creating a concept store covering 20,000sq feet across three floors; the store’s cool, spacious design sets the new blueprint for Flannels stores featuring original pieces and Parisian antiques in a minimal contemporary setting.

In June 2019, it was confirmed that Flannels would be opening a new store in York. Flannels plan to open the store within part of the former British Home Stores shop on Coney Street, which has been empty since 29th August 2016. [15]

Flannels Online[edit]

The Flannels website was launched in 2007 as an extension of the business offering the same designer brands available in store as well as a designer clearance section.[16] In January 2010, the website was overhauled by retail systems company Eurostop[17] – overseeing the retailer’s electronic point of sale (EpoS) software and head office retail management – and in July 2012 the system was updated to integrate key business processes including a mobile site.[18][19][20]


  1. ^ "Sports Direct takes control of Flannels". 13 July 2012 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  2. ^ The IMG. "Members: Flannels - United Kingdom". The IMG. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  3. ^ Laura Chesters (13 July 2012). "Sports Direct buys loss-making Flannels for 'a nominal sum'". The Independent. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  4. ^ The Flannels Group. "Store Finder". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Flannels.com".
  6. ^ George MacDonald (13 July 2012). "Sports Direct takes majority stake in Flannels". Drapers. drapersonline.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Flannels Fashion is rated "Bad" with 1.8 / 10 on Trustpilot". Trustpilot. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  8. ^ Sarah Walters (15 February 2007). "Quiet gent who became world beater". Manchester Evening News. manchestereveningnews.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Prosser's Progress". EN. enforbusiness.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  10. ^ V-ONE. "Premium Brand Partner". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  11. ^ Template:York Press
  12. ^ a b c d e Laura Chesters (19 May 2006). "Clothes maketh the man". Property Week. propertyweek.com. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  13. ^ The Flannels Group. "Flannels Cardiff". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Flannels Shop - Liverpool ONE".
  15. ^ Template:York Press
  16. ^ The Flannels Group. "About Us". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  17. ^ Jon Whiteaker (27 August 2010). "Eurostop to upgrade Flannels website". Property Week. retailgazette.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Flannels integrates head office systems to strengthen multi-channel offering with Eurostop". Eurostop. eurostop.co.uk. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014.>
  19. ^ "Flannels upgrades head office IT". Eurostop. retailtechnology.co.uk. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Flannels integrates head office systems to strengthen multi-channel offering with Eurostop". SourceWire. sourcewire.com. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links[edit]