House of Fraser to close down 31 stores

Written by on 9th June 2018

House of Fraser (HoF) has announced that it will soon be closing down 31 of its stores in an attempt to cut costs across the company.

The news comes at a difficult time for the Retail industry as other companies including B&Q, Carpet Right, Poundworld announce staff redundancies, store closures and company bankruptcies.

HoF is the latest high-street chain to feel the pressure of falling profits, and plans to close 31 of its 59 shops, including its London Oxford Street flagship store, as part of a restructuring strategy – with 6,000 people at risk of losing their jobs.

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 June 22.

If the closures go ahead, they 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.

House of Fraser in Cwmbran. One of the stores lined up for closure in the coming weeks.

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.

Alex Williamson, CEO of the brand, offered his “heartfelt thanks” to his colleagues, who he said had “worked tirelessly throughout this difficult period”.

House of Fraser was established in Glasgow in 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.

Both Toys R Us and Maplin went into administration in February, while New Look announced it will close 60 stores after its restructuring plan was approved by creditors in March.

See the 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 William Street, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Skipton, Swindon, Telford, Wolverhampton, Worcester.

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