Next has swooped on a former Sainsbury’s supermarket in the West Midlands as it prepares to launch one of its biggest UK stores.

Retail Week can reveal that the fashion giant has penned a deal on the former grocery store at Intu Merry Hill, which it will convert into a new state-of-the-art flagship.

Expanded from 32,000 sq ft to 75,680 sq ft, the store is poised to open next spring and will feature a full homewares offer, Lipsy and a coffee shop.

It is just 6,500 sq ft smaller than Next’s largest UK store, at Manchester Arndale.

Stores super-size space

Next is the latest retailer to invest in new space at Intu Merry Hill since the shopping centre landlord took full ownership of the centre last year, after JD Sports, Topshop and River Island all upsized their stores.

Intu regional director Nick Round said: “We will be working closely with Next to build a fantastic space for what will be one of their biggest UK stores.

“Next’s significant investment at Intu Merry Hill reflects our own long-term commitment to the centre and the confidence that exists in it as a destination where brands can really flourish.”