What had once seemed unthinkable is now not only happening but accelerating as failed UK retailers' giant spaces are transformed for new uses. And a spate of news on Monday showed the extent of the issue.
Failed upscale menswear retailer Pink Shirtmaker is set to make a return. The LVMH-owned brand, which went on the block before Christmas, has been bought by Nick Preston, a former JD Sports Fashion trading director.
Milton Keynes can breath a sigh of relief. Any doubts that Harrods may pull out of plans to open a beauty store in the Buckinghamshire town, or further delay its arrival due to the Covid pandemic, are unfounded.
Boohoo on Monday confirmed that it has bought the Debenhams brand for £55m. It will use it to move into beauty and homewares, extend its own brand offering, operate a giant online marketplace and grow internationally.
Frasers said on Tuesday it has increased its stake in German luxury fashion house Hugo Boss to 15.2% through stocks and derivatives, part of Ashley's ongoing drive to take the British sportswear retailer upmarket.
Frasers Group has bought another company with the purchase of designer fashion retailer Psyche for an undisclosed sum. The company has a 40,000 sq ft shop in Middlesbrough, and a webstore, and employs 58 people in total.
Frasers Group is continuing to focus on physical retail space as it take over a key soon-to-be empty Debenhams store and opens a next-gen Sports Direct flagship that also integrates other brands into its giant space.