Bucks’ House of Fraser stores spared from clo­sure

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

HOUSE of Fraser stores in Ayles­bury and High Wy­combe have been spared the axe, the de­part­ment store chain has an­nounced.

They are two of 20 stores that have been saved af­ter new owner Mike Ash­ley struck a last-minute deal with the prop­er­ties’ land­lords.

The Sports Di­rect and New­cas­tle United owner forked out £90 mil­lion for the stricken chain last month when it fell into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

House of Fraser con­firmed the res­cue deal in an an­nounce­ment on Sun­day (Septem­ber 23), sav­ing 3,500 jobs in the process.

The 20 stores that have been saved are in Ayles­bury, High Wy­combe, Al­trin­cham, Birken­head, Cam­ber­ley, Carlisle, Dar­ling­ton, Don­caster, Grimsby, Lin­coln, Lon­don (Ox­ford Street), Mid­dles­brough, Ply­mouth, Skip­ton and Telford, Hud­der­s­field, Leeds, Maid­stone, Soli­hull and Sut­ton Cold­field.

Mr Ash­ley said: “It’s great news that we’ve al­ready res­cued ap­prox­i­mately half (48%) of the stores that were due to close in Jan­uary un­der a Com­pany Vol­un­tary Ar- range­ment an­nounced by the pre­vi­ous own­ers.

“We con­tinue to hope to save at least 80% of stores. We’ve showed what we can achieve on the British high street when we work to­gether with land­lords. I would like to thank those land­lords who have helped us to res­cue ap­prox­i­mately 3,500 jobs.”

Stores in Ed­in­burgh, Hull, and Swin­don face clo­sure af­ter the com­pany and land­lords failed to agree new terms.

Mr Ash­ley blamed a small num­ber of “greedy land­lords” for “re­fus­ing to be rea­son­able” and ne­go­ti­ate lower rents.

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