Two more House of Fraser branches to close as shoppers complain stores “looks like Sports Direct”

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More House of Fraser store closures have been revealed across the UK as shoppers criticise the newly overhauled shop floors for resembling Sports Direct.

House of Fraser’s stores in Exeter and Shrewsbury are reportedly due to close in early 2019, leading to hundreds of job losses.

It is understood that its Exeter branch was not due for closure under the CVA launched earlier this year, and that the building is mostly owned by the retailer, suggesting the closure is not simply due to rent pressures.

Conversely its neighbouring store in Plymouth, which was earmarked for closure before the summer under the CVA, was saved from closure when Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley took over.

Wolverhamton’s Beatties department store, owned by House of Fraser, which was also earmarked for closure is due to continue trading as new rent arrangements were agreed.

Ashley bought House of Fraser out of administration for £90 million in August, vowing at the time to save 80 per cent, or 47 out of 59 stores.

To date 22 stores have been saved from closure, saving around 3,500 jobs.

The news comes as angry customers took to social media to criticise the changes seen in their local stores since the takeover.

Posting pictures of tracksuits with Sports Direct sale labels attached and stacks of trainers, many drew comparisons with the shop floor of its new owner.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. A Blind person with a white stick and a guide dog can see what he’s doing he’s an old fashioned carpetbagger, he’s robbed the 59 stores stock for £90 million reneged on all of the previous customer commitments, mis-led the remaining staff who believe there’s a future with his company, he’ll cherry pick the remaining stores useing both staff and all the previous HOF stock until he’s sold it all off, he will then dispose of the majority or the remaining stores probably only retaining 6-7 how blind the people concerned are ?

  2. Unfortunately people must remember HOF have no AW18 stock. They couldn’t afford it and most of the suppliers have held that stock back so MA is dropping in any brands he can to fill up space. It’s not ideal but customers moaning it looks like SD…well where were all the customers prior to all the financial troubles supporting the business? Moaning about how stock was too expensive. They were shopping in rival businesses.

    HoF as far as I can see are filling up the space so they don’t have acres of baron departments. Judge the progress next April and if it’s still the same then the criticisms are warranted.

    • MA has had plenty of time to negotiate new terms with excising suppliers, he doesn’t want to pay any money to them and I’m sure with his track record in business there’s a lack of trust from them hence filling up stores with his own brands firetrap, Kangol, Karrimor, Slazenger which he can make huge profits on.
      He also claimed greedy landlords are his reasons for having to close some stores, It’s just been announced Exeter HOF is closing that store was bought by the retailer from DTZ investment they own HOF Glasgow which if you look up DTZ news April 2018 completed the acquisition of 35-53 Buchanan Street which forms the north part of the store they already owned south part. DTZ bought Exeter HOF store Dec 2017 (as shared in their news page) which has been sold and is now owned by HOF it is not a simple case of rents being too high so why close it ? HOF Glasgow building in Buchanan Street is being bought by MA the reason for no press release is the acquisition is not complete the only retail business he’s interested in is his baby which is Sports Direct. MA is getting involved more luxury property Market let’s see what happens to HoF Exeter’s building.

  3. Mike Ashley has had plenty of time to negotiate new terms with HOF suppliers.He doesn’t want to pay them any money and I’m sure there’s a trust issue for the suppliers hence the reason he’s filling the stores with his own brands Firetrap, Slazenger, Kangol, Karrimor etc. He makes huge profits from these brands.
    As for greedy landlords Exeter HOF store is now closing. The store was owned by DTZ investors in (December 2017 in there news report) which also Owns HOF Glasgow (DYZ news report April 2018) DTZ investors completed the acquisition of 35-53 Buchanan street Glasgow the property forms the north part of House Of Frasers dept store DTZ is existing holding on the southern part of HOF Glasgow.

    Exeter HOF store building is now owned by sports direct, no greedy landlords with this store it’s not a simple case of rents being to high so why close it?

    MA is looking to buy HOF Glasgow building from DTZ the only reason it’s not been in the press as the acquisition has not been completed yet. Mike Ashley is moving into luxury property development the only retail business he’s really interested is his baby, Sports Direct, let’s see what he does with HOF Exeter building what happened to Harrods of the high street with Exerter store considering he owns the building!

  4. The issue with House of Fraser is that it lost its way over twenty years ago and has been in decline since. Removing the food sections was suicidal because food brings footfall as it did to Birmingham and Plymouth both stores the old management earmarked for closure. A total lack of investment in some stores fails to impress customers, with poor signage or decaying structure. In the case of Exeter it is a rabbit Warren unfit for use as a department store in a city. In Leamington the, store is more used than one would imagine and could b e better with a little investment and better signage inside the store.

    House of Frasers offer needs revising to get footfall, footfall from younger buyers. Whatever you may think Flannels is a brand the younger buyers like. But BHS is also coming back as concessions and it is believed better quality, a concession like Pull and Bear is also one to try develop as this is a young brand popular with young buyers and strong in Europe but not in the UK.

    Mike Ashley can be successful but he has to change what exists now is House of Fraser is to stand a chance of success, standing still is not an option despite what existing customers think, if that option has been there it would not have collapsed in the first place

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