British department store group House of Fraser has revealed plans to close around 31 stores in the country as part of its rescue plan.
The retailer currently operates 59 department stores across the UK and Ireland, of which more than half will be closed, including its flagship store on Oxford Street in London.
According to the company, the stores are expected to be open until early 2019.
The company’s funding has also filed company voluntary arrangements (CVA) regarding House of Fraser Stores and House of Fraser to save the business from bankruptcy.
The CVA also includes a request for rent reductions of 25% at ten other stores. Creditors will vote on the CVA on 22 June.
House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said: “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.
“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.”
China-based C Banner International Holdings also agreed to acquire a 51% stake in the House of Fraser Group.
However, the transaction depends on the approval of the restructuring plan and, if materialised, will leave the current owner Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store with a minority stake.