One of House of Fraser’s suppliers has heaped praise on how Mike Ashley and Sports Direct staff have dealt with them during the acquisition, calling on other suppliers to reach out to.
Independent Scottish streetwear brand One Peace, which has a concession in the department store’s Glasgow chain, was reportedly hard hit “incredibly hard” by the collapse losing three months’ worth of sales.
Despite being out of pocket, the company has praised both House of Fraser’s store-level support and the support they have received from its new owners Sports Direct.
“We were put in touch with Chris Wootton Deputy CFO for Sports Direct by the administrators and he couldn’t have been any more efficient in getting back to us and invited us down to Academy House to discuss our situation,” One Peace’s co-founder Kevin Sweeny said.
“As a smaller supplier, we probably did not expect such a quick response. We can’t thank him enough for managing to see us so quickly.
“It was refreshing to understand that as a small supplier, we were being treated the same way as some of the bigger players. Both Mike Ashley and Chris took time out their day to come and reassure us about the future and the exciting plans for House of Fraser”.
Sweeny went on to urge other suppliers who have suffered in the wake of House of Fraser’s downfall to reach out to their new owners.
“My message to other suppliers who find themselves in a similar situation would be, sit down and discuss the challenges,” he added.
“We found them to be very fair, reasonable and simple to deal with. We are really excited to be working with everyone from Sports Direct in the next few months and hopefully we can help each other move forward and make this a massive success for all involved”.
This follows revelations that the retailer owes suppliers a collective debt of around £1 billion, with individual brands owed multi-millions on which they are expected to receive less than 3p on the pound in return.
Ashley has pledged to keep 80 per cent of stores open, majorly limiting the 50 per cent of store closures proposed in its initial CVA.
Though three stores, including its Oxford Street flagship have now been saved from closure, negotiations on rents with landlords are ongoing and remain heated.