Frasers Group blames Dominic Cummings “fiasco” on delayed store reopenings

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Mike Ashley Chris Wootton Frasers group reopening covid-19
Frasers Group - which owns Sports Direct, Jack Wills, Game and House of Fraser - had been preparing to reopen more than 800 UK stores on June 1
// Frasers Group says govt has been too distracted by the Dominic Cummings scandal which is why reopening date for non-essential retailers was delayed
// The delay is expected to “finish off” some retailers
// Frasers Group finance boss Chris Wootton is “extremely irritated” by the delay

Frasers Group chief financial officer Chris Wootton has reportedly blamed the controversy surrounding Boris Johnson’s senior advisor Dominic Cummings for later-than-expected store reopenings which will “finish off” some retailers.

Wootton said he was “extremely irritated” that non-essential retailers now have to wait until June 15 before reopening rather than June 1 as previously expected, according to ITV News.

Frasers Group – which owns Sports Direct, Jack Wills, Game, Evans Cycles and House of Fraser – had been preparing to reopen more than 800 UK stores on June 1, in line with the government guidance that was published in the Covid-19 Recovery Strategy earlier this month.


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On Monday, the government announced that although car showrooms and outdoor markets can reopen from the June 1, all other non-essential shops in England can reopen on June 15, provided they comply with social distancing and hygiene standards.

Wootton said “the whole Dominic Cummings fiasco” over the weekend made the government hesitant to act decisively, which is why the reopening date has been delayed.

Frasers Group has installed screens on the tills, stickers on the floors, and posters on the walls.

It has also drawn-up risk assessments, organised outside queuing, sanitised stations and sourced gloves and masks for staff.”

Wootton said the reopening on June 15 instead of June 1 will come at a price for Frasers Group and will “definitely put some businesses out of business”.

He added that some retailers that are on the edge will be “going out of existence”.

Wootton said he is expressing views that are shared by Mike Ashley, who owns a majority stake in Frasers Group.

In March, Ashley issued a public apology after trying to keep Sports Direct open when the government had initially ordered non-essential retailers to close.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Completely agree, this whole situation has become a farcical. As a small independent retailer this delay will put our whole business in jeopardy.

  2. Poor, poor, poor excuse from a greedy company that has been very slow to adapt. Always looking to pin their short-comings on someone else.
    There have been many examples of businesses large and small that have been creative and shown true entrepreneurial nounce when it comes to keeping the virtual doors open.
    This country needs that bulldog spirit now and beyond, not belly-aching!

  3. I blame the mainstream media for this non-story about Cummings but I also note Frasers group is always looking to blame someone for something, usually an excuse for Debenhams failing.

  4. Another classic excuse from the Fraser group – there was no indication that stores would be allowed to reopen on June 1st.

    More likely that it is an excuse as to why the Fraser group will fail and that purchasing it was another poor business decision alongside a poor on line offering from the rest of the group

  5. Head over to Brewdog and take advantage of their new “Barnard Castle Eye Test” beer on sale (first batch sold out). Perhaps Frasers group should print tshirts with the same slogan?

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