Approximately 6,000 jobs are at risk after House of Fraser, the embattled department store chain, revealed that 31 out of its 59 stores are set to close across Ireland and the United Kingdom as part of a rescue plan.
House of Fraser said that the planned store closures, which include its store that is located in Oxford Street, come as a part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
Once the CVA is approved by the landlords, it will affect around 2,000 employees of the House of Fraser and another 4,000 across concessions and brands. It said that the shops that were earmarked for closure would still be open until early next year.
The group said that it also plans to relocate its head office that is currently located in Baker Street and the Granite House office that is located in Glasgow to help in reducing costs and “secure House of Fraser’s future.”
The chief executive of House of Fraser, Alex Williamson, stated: “Today’s announcement is one of the most important in this company’s 169-year history. We, as a management team, have a responsibility to take necessary steps to ensure House of Fraser’s survival, which is why we are making these proposals.
“We are fully committed to supporting those personally affected by the proposals.”
Frank Slevin, the chairman of the company, has said that the company was suffering from an “existential threat.”
He stated: “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.”
The stores that are set to close are:
- Edinburgh Frasers
- High Wycombe
- Leamington Spa
- London Oxford Street
- London King William Street
- Milton Keynes