Empty House of Fraser stores to be snapped up by The Gym Group

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House of Fraser creditors

The Gym Group is poised to snap up any House of Fraser stores which are due to be closed under its new management.

House of Fraser, which currently trades from 59 stores across the UK, was rescued from administration by Sports Direct earlier this month.

Its new owner Mike Ashley announced that although it would no longer close the 31 stores proposed in its CVA, 20 per cent of its store network would still face closure.

In what is becoming a recurring theme on the high street, with health and fitness centres booming while retail falters, The Gym Group is expected to snap up a large chunk of the stores set for closure.

“We will certainly be in discussions with HoF’s landlords about the opportunity to take over space at parts of their buildings if they fail to keep HoF as a tenant,” The Gym Group’s chief executive John Treharne said.

“I am confident that the business is in as strong a position as ever to execute its strategy and deliver further accelerated profitable growth. After a strong first half we are on track to meet market expectations for the full year.”

Earlier this week details of Ashley’s negotiations with landlords emerged, revealing that many are being offered rents equating to five per cent of annual turnover, with only a handful being offered the same rents as before its collapse.

In a statement to the press Ashley said “some greedy landlords” were hampering progress in negotiations, and that “time was running out” for many stores, with closures to be announced next week.

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