House of Fraser: Four stores saved from closure after Sports Direct agrees last-minute deal with landlord

Branches at Chapelfield in Norwich, Lakeside in Thurrock, Metrocentre in Gateshead and Victoria Centre in Nottingham to stay open

Holly Williams
Tuesday 22 January 2019 17:18 GMT
House of Fraser to shut 31 stores and put 6,000 jobs at risk

Four more House of Fraser stores look set to be saved from closure after new owner Sports Direct reached an interim deal with shopping centre giant Intu.

The move means a last-minute reprieve for stores in landlord Intu's shopping centres Chapelfield in Norwich, Lakeside in Thurrock, Metrocentre in Gateshead and Victoria Centre in Nottingham, which had been earmarked for closure.

It comes after Sports Direct said when initial talks had failed in November that the stores would be shut in the new year.

But a spokesperson for Intu said: “We confirm that following constructive discussions with Sports Direct, we have reached an interim agreement on four House of Fraser stores.”

Following his acquisition of the chain in August, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley pledged to save around 47 of House of Fraser's 59 outlets.

But Mr Ashley has previously made public statements attacking the “greedy landlords” of House of Fraser stores.

It is understood that many landlords are reluctant to agree to the low rents Mr Ashley is demanding.

The Intu spokesman added: “We are committed to working with all our retailers to ensure they are perfectly placed to showcase their brands and draw in shoppers.

“Our high-footfall winning destinations are designed to help all our tenants flourish.”

The latest welcome news on stores follows recent announcements that House of Fraser shops in Hull, Exeter and Manchester have been saved.

But the future of its Birmingham outlet remains uncertain and closures have been announced for branches in Shrewsbury, Edinburgh and Swindon.

Sports Direct was not immediately available for comment.


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