1. News
October 7, 2019

Sports Direct prepares to close most House of Fraser stores this year

UK retailer Sports Direct is reportedly getting ready to close almost all House of Fraser stores after the Christmas trading period, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

By Deborah Williams

UK retailer Sports Direct is reportedly getting ready to close almost all House of Fraser stores after the Christmas trading period, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

The report stated that, via papers from administrator EY, seven House of Fraser locations are now vacant, with Sports Direct either not paying rent or preparing to terminate the leases for most of the remaining locations.

In July this year, Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley shared his regrets about the decision to acquire House of Fraser, describing the chain as “nothing short of terminal.”

The news also follows Mike Ashley’s agreement to make a major investment to open 31 rebranded House of Fraser stores over the next five years. The report stated that the House of Fraser business is to launch ‘Frasers’ – a high-end spin-off from the old brand. The Frasers plans will start with the renovation of five stores next year, with the first expected to replace the outgoing Debenhams Wolverhampton location.

Sports Direct acquired the business and assets of House of Fraser in 2018 for £90m ($115m). A week later the British general trade union GMB issued a warning to Mike Ashley over the loss of 627 jobs involved in the acquisition. House of Fraser then reopened two distribution centres, and British furniture and floorings retailer ScS Group ceased trading at its 27 House of Fraser concessions.

Prior to the acquisition, House of Fraser had been hit with a Company Voluntary Arrangement, a petition from property landlords and the closure of 31 stores.

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