House of Fraser, the department store chain, is understood to be drawing up plans to open out-of-town stores.

House of Fraser is understood to have hired property agency DTZ to find out-of-town stores as city centre space dries up.

It would be the first time that the department store has opened stores outside of their favoured city centre or shopping centre sites. However, in October 2007 it was reported to have been considering opening smaller format stores called HOF.

According to reports this week the department store is considering opening in locations with the correct catchment area where it doesn’t already have a town or shopping centre store. The size and format is unknown.

Debenhams and John Lewis have both opened smaller store formats to combat the mothballing of property deals in town centres.