// House of Fraser store in Victoria, central London, to shut down next summer
// A department store has traded on the same site for 150 years, starting off as Army & Navy in 1872
// The building will be knocked down for a mixed retail/office development
One of the oldest department stores in central London it set to shut down next summer after trading on the same site for 150 years.
The Victoria branch of House of Fraser, which began as Army & Navy in 1872, would join West End names like Dickins & Jones, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Swan & Edgar – and Debenhams’ Oxford Street flagship – that have shut down for good.
News of the House of Fraser Victoria shutting down comes as Westminster City Council prepares to give planning permission to demolish the Victoria Street building and replace it with a £750 million office and shops development.
- Frasers Group CFO reiterates warning that House of Fraser stores “will have to close”
- Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group ordered to pay rent arrears
- Frasers Group ordered to reinstate Jenners signs on Edinburgh landmark
The council will consider the plans, from Canadian-owned property investor BentallGreenOak, on Tuesday.
The plans lodged with Westminster show that the 390,000sq ft site where House of Fraser is based would be knocked down and replaced with a 16-storey, 630,000 sq ft scheme with up to 20 shop units and office space.
The store closure would be delayed until next summer due to a break clause in the lease.
While the current building was built in the 1970s, a department store has traded on the same site for 150 years.
It served as the flagship for Army & Navy, which was acquired by House of Fraser in 1973.
In 2005 the remaining Army & Navy stores, including the Victoria flagship, were refurbished and re-branded under the House of Fraser brand.
House of Fraser has been part of Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group retail empire since August 2018, and since then it has endured a series of store closures – one of which was the City of London site – due to various trading struggles.
The Victoria branch of House of Fraser currently paying no rent.
BentallGreenOak, which has owned the House of Fraser Victoria building since 2005, have said its proposal was “incongruous with current market trends, which they state has seen a shift from large department stores towards smaller scale flexible retail units which meet local needs”.