Cus­tomer hits out af­ter find­ing House of Fraser coat in Sports Di­rect

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Han­nah BAKER Busi­ness ed­i­tor han­[email protected]­plc.com

HOUSE of Fraser in Cabot Cir­cus has been crit­i­cised for a “lack of class” af­ter it was found sell­ing the same coats as Sports Di­rect in Broad­mead.

The de­part­ment store, which is now owned by Sports Di­rect founder Mike Ash­ley, sparked a back­lash this week af­ter it was re­vealed it was sell­ing stock from the sports shop.

One cus­tomer, who bought a Soul­cal coat from House of Fraser in Cabot, has hit out at the de­part­ment store, ac­cus­ing it of “de­valu­ing” it­self.

The cus­tomer, who did not want to be named, ex­plained: “I was re­ally happy to find a beau­ti­ful win­ter coat re­duced to £32 in House of Fraser Cabot Cir­cus. The next day I was walk­ing through town and saw the ex­act same coat for the same price on a sale rail at the front of Sports Di­rect in Broad­mead.

“I don’t want to be seen wear­ing a cheap Sports Di­rect coat. House of Fraser at least stands for class. I felt as though this ex­pe­ri­ence had re­ally de­val­ued and let down House of Fraser.

“I hope Mr Ash­ley has plans for the fu­ture that don’t in­volve mix­ing stock across stores be­cause he’s al­ready lost one cus­tomer.

“How can he ever ex­pect House of Fraser to re­cover and sur­vive this dif­fi­cult cli­mate when he’s tak­ing away the val­ues and class the store has al­ways stood for?”

The shop­per says they have now given the coat to a lo­cal home­less char­ity to avoid the “has­sle” of get­ting a re­fund.

House of Fraser has been un­der scru­tiny since it was bought up by bil­lion­aire re­tail ty­coon Mr Ash­ley in Au­gust for £90 mil­lion.

Just this week the re­tail boss ad­mit­ted that a merger be­tween House of Fraser and Deben­hams could even­tu­ally hap­pen.

Easlier this week Mr Ash­ley called for a new tax on on­line re­tail­ers as part of a rad­i­cal change he says is needed to save the high street.

Ap­pear­ing be­fore MPs, the re­tail ty­coon said any re­tailer that makes more than 20% of its sales on­line should be sub­ject to an ad­di­tional tax.

He said this would en­cour­age

busi­nesses like Sports Di­rect to open more stores rather than in­creas­ingly shift­ing to dig­i­tal sales chan­nels.

“It’s not House of Fraser’s fault, it’s not Marks & Spencer’s fault, it’s not Deben­hams’s fault the high street is dy­ing,” Mr Ash­ley said.

“The in­ter­net is killing the high street.”

The busi­ness­man warned most high streets will not sur­vive un­til 2030.

He said: “I want to make it crys­tal clear: the main­stream high street as we think about it to­day – not the Ox­ford Streets and the West­fields – are al­ready dead. They can’t sur­vive.”

House of Fraser in Cabot Cir­cus; In­set left, new owner Mike Ash­ley; Be­low mod­els in Soul­cal coats sim­i­lar to the one a for­mer House of Fraser cus­tomer has now given to a home­less char­ity af­ter find­ing it on sale in Sports Di­rect

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