JOHN Lewis, Ikea, Disney Store, Zara or an indoor plaza filled with independent traders – those are some of the suggestions to replace House of Fraser in Worcester.

Shoppers and leaders in the city have spoken out about the brands or businesses they would like to see moving into the Crowngate Shopping Centre when House of Fraser closes down.

There is currently no new retailer lined up for the unit when the department store shuts early next year.

House of Fraser’s departure is due to the company struggling nationally, as Worcester remains a strong economy with successes such as the Food Festival last weekend and other big names thriving.

Commenting on the Worcester News Facebook page, many shoppers said they would welcome a John Lewis department store, Zara clothes shop, Disney outlet and mixture of independent businesses in the large unit. Others suggested an Ikea or Matalan, while The Range was also a popular idea.

In June 2016, the city council rejected plans for a John Lewis home store at Worcester Woods because of fears the out of town shop would hurt the city centre.

Commenting on replacements for House of Fraser, Tina Prigg said: “John Lewis would be brilliant and would save on travelling.”

While Emma Hooper commented: “Worcester needs a decent toy shop like Smyths, not necessarily in city centre. It would save a lot of travelling out of Worcester.”

Lukey Robinson said: “You could split the (current House of Fraser) store and have different traders share the the place,” adding: “Take Selfridges, they have lots of different traders sharing the same unit and it pulls in more customers.”

Cheryl Yates seconded that idea, saying: “They could turn it into a plaza and break it down into individual units for independent shops.”

Chris Barnes added: "How about an Ikea? They do smaller, city centre branches as well as the massive out of town ones."

Phoebe Dawson, CEO of Worcester BID which works to improve the city's economy, said there were plenty of reasons to be positive.

“Worcester is a vibrant and inviting city, a destination of choice.

“Most recently, Holiday Lettings named the Worcester Food Fest as one of the top 10 attractions in the UK for June and, although we need to wait until next week for the final footfall figures from the event, we do know that against last year’s festival, which was run during the school holidays, we recorded 5,093 more visitors on Friday and an impressive increase of 33,032 on Saturday.

“That means over 103,868 visitors were recorded in the city centre on Saturday alone, experiencing all that Worcester has to offer."

She added: “City centres are changing and those that can adapt will be the most successful. There is and always will be a place for retail and Worcester continues to offer much more than our neighbours with over 40 per cent more independent retailers than the UK and regional averages.

“That said, we do recognise that people visit the city for more than just shopping and therefore it is important that we can offer access to social and leisure activities as well.

“The rise in popularity of Escape Rooms, Everyman Cinemas and other leisure experiences have served our neighbouring towns and cities well.

“These, along with a focus on marketing our tourist attractions, our riverside, and events such as Food Fest and the excellent activities taking place this weekend, all help to cement Worcester in people’s minds as the destination of choice to shop, eat and play.”