SHOPPERS flocked to a new sports shop as it opened its doors for the first time in Winchester

High Street chain Sports Direct opened inside the Brooks Shopping Centre in Winchester on Saturday, December 16. 

It has taken over a large unit on the ground floor, that has stood empty since New Look left in 2021. 

The move proved popular with punters on the opening day as they packed the shop looking for Christmas gifts and more. 

READ MORE: USC and Game to open alongside Sports Direct in Winchester

Hampshire Chronicle: Sports Direct

Store manager Chris Bott was busy, but delighted with the response to the chain's arrival. 

Sports Direct is not the only good thing to happen to the Brooks recently. Yarrow Estates Ltd, a consortia of investors led by Winchester-based investors and developers Gentian, bought the shopping centre at the beginning of the year and has since been working with the Brooks management team to secure new tenants.

It is a major boost for The Brooks which has rarely been fully let since it opened in 1991 but with negotiations happening on the last few remaining units, it is close to being fully occupied.

Hampshire Chronicle: Sports Direct opened in the Brooks Shopping Centre in Winchester on December 16

Alongside the sports shop, will be partner stores Game and USC, bringing well-known brands such as HUGO BOSS, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Levi’s and Calvin Klein.

Simon Turpin, director and asset manager for Yarrow Estates, said: “Sports Direct’s arrival feels like a huge, early Christmas Present for the Brooks, as we’ve already had lots of people visit to take a look.

Hampshire Chronicle: Sports Direct opened in the Brooks Shopping Centre in Winchester on December 16

“Their fit-out contractors have been a pleasure to work with and I’m very grateful to our team of Lisa, Danny, Stewart, Rhys, John and Dhan for their hard work. I’d also like to thank all our other tenants, for being so kind and understanding, during what has been an incredibly busy few weeks.”

The sports retailer announced plans to focus on opening more larger stores while closing smaller branches in March.

The business previously had a store in Winchester High Street which closed several years ago.