Debenhams is planning to rent out excess space in its Oxford Street flagship store to co-working office space provider WeWork.
The department store, which has a large store estate with many long leases, is trying to find tenants for excess space in large stores, according to Bloomberg.
It is said to be in the early stages of talks with WeWork, which is London’s biggest occupant of office space.
The move is a development from the path taken by many retailers, which have tried to fill excess space with leisure or third-party retail offers.
Next is currently trialling an in-store concession in Tesco branches while department stores across the board are expanding their leisure and eating offer via contacts with third-party restaurant groups.
Debenhams is in the midst of a turnaround plan under chief executive Sergio Bucher and chairman Sir Ian Cheshire.
Yesterday, the department store chain unveiled a new concession partnership with home and furniture brand Maison Du Monde. The French firm, which currently only operates online in the UK, will open shop-in-shops in three stores – Westfield, Birmingham and Manchester – this spring.
Debenhams is currently the object of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s attentions. Ashley upped his stake in the retailer to 29.7% last week, just shy of the 30% threshold at which a stakeholder is obligated to file a formal takeover bid.