House of Fraser begins honouring gift cards as Birmingham store saved from closure

Mike Ashley warns more House of Fraser stores will close unless Govt fixes “broken and unworkable” business rates system
Mike Ashley says House of Fraser could face more store closures in the new year.

House of Fraser’s Birmingham store is understood to have been saved from closure, as the retailer begins issuing replacements for customers’ giftcards.

According to BirminghamLive, staff at the department store’s location on Corporation Street have been told the store will remain open, despite it originally being earmarked for closure as part of its company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

Though its new owners Sports Direct, who purchased the company out of administration for £90 million in August, are yet to confirm the news officially it is understood that 600 staff who work at the store will now keep their jobs.

Sports Direct’s owner Mike Ashley pledged days after the acquisition that he would keep 80 per cent of the department stores estate open, scrapping plans to shut 31 of its 59 store estate.

This follows news earlier this month that stores in Exeter and Shrewsbury are reportedly due to close in early 2019, leading to hundreds of job losses.

Meanwhile customers have reported on social media that House of Fraser has begun sending letters informing them they’ll be issued with replacement gift cards, following months of silence.

Last month it was reported that many customers were told by House of Fraser to send in their gift cards for a replacement, only to receive radio silence from the retailer for more than a month.

However, several customers are now understood to have received letters stating that their gift cards will be replaced by an e-voucher of the equivalent value.

These will be valid until January 2019 and customer have until October 31 to return any gift cards.

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