House of Fraser is due to see its website reopen as Sports Direct reaches a deal with its warehouse staff while offering loans to other suppliers struggling to manage with debts.
The embattled department store’s website, which has been inactive since August 15, is due to return to operation as early as next week after a deal was struck between its new owners and warehouse operators XPO Logistics.
Though scores of customers are still owed refunds on orders that were cancelled when the website went down XPO, which was understood to be owed £30.4 million by the department store before it collapsed, have begun moving stock once again.
XPO’s warehouse in Milton Keynes however will only deliver goods to House of Fraser until November when it will close leaving 300 staff redundant, while its Wellingborough warehouse will trade until at least March, but it is thought operations will soon be transferred to Sports Direct’s Shirebrook location.
Meanwhile Sports Direct has reportedly offered loans to suppliers left out of pocket by the retailers collapse.
When Mike Ashley’s retailer bought House of Fraser out of administration last month for £90 million, he acquired none of its substantial debt pile leaving many suppliers being owed millions.
According to Drapers, one anonymous supplier said: “What (Ashley) is saying is that he has no real obligation to pay HoF debts, but he is saying (to suppliers), ‘OK, I’ll lend you some money.’”
Any details of which suppliers have been offered loans, or whether they have accepted are as yet unclear.
However, suppliers are also understood to have been told they’ll not receive “a penny” of the debt owed to them before its administration.
This follows news earlier this week that Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which sells brands including Calvetron Brands, Jane Norman, Berwin & Berwin and Jaeger in concessions in House of Fraser, has pulled all of its stock from the department store.
“Our brands have a long history with House of Fraser, and we worked hard to try to secure a satisfactory arrangement,” a spokesperson said.
“But sadly we have not been able to agree future trading terms that give us confidence in the security and continuity of the House of Fraser business.”