After kicking all staffs out earlier today, a statement got released stating that sports retailer, owned by billionaire Mike Ashley (Sports Direct) had bought “all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the House of Fraser brand and all of the stock in the business”.
The unforeseen deal came after department store chain had gone into administration. Ashley, who already has an 11% stake in the business, has not made his plans for the brand or its 17,500-strong workforce clear. However, the BBC reports that under his ownership, some House of Fraser stores could be rebranded as Sports Direct.
Original story 7/6 2018: House of Fraser plans to close 31 of its 59 shops, including its London Oxford Street flagship, as part of a restructuring strategy.
The department store has warned that it does “not have a viable future” unless its proposal for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is approved by creditors, who will vote on the insolvency plan on 22 June.
If the closures go ahead, it will affect 2,000 House of Fraser employees, along with 4,000 brand and concession roles. The retailer says it will continue to trade as normal in stores and online during the consultation period.
Frank Slevin, Chairman of House of Fraser said in a statement: “The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive. Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base, which without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business. So whilst closing stores is a very difficult decision, especially given the length of relationship House of Fraser has with all its locations, there should be no doubt that it is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive.”
House of Fraser was established inin 1849, when it was known as Fraser & Sons. It is the latest high-street chain to feel the pressure of falling profits in recent weeks.
Below are House of Fraser stores identified for potential closure below:
Altrincham, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Camberley, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chichester, Cirencester, Cwmbran, Darlington, Doncaster, Edinburgh Frasers, Epsom, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Hull, Leamington Spa, Lincoln, London Oxford Street, London King Willam Street, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Skipton, Swindon, Telford, Wolverhampton, Worcester.