House of Fraser

House of Fraser has confirmed the closure of an additional four stores, after failing to negotiate lower rents at the sites.

The struggling retailer narrowly avoided administration after having been bought out by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct back in August.

Since then, House of Fraser has confirmed the closure of stores in Manchester, Cirencester, Shrewsbury, Hull, Swindon, Edinburgh, Chichester and Exeter.

However, the high street giant is now set to also close locations in Lakeside, Metrocentre, Norwich and Nottingham locations next year.

The additional closures follow extensive talks between landlord Intu and Sports Direct over reducing rents.

Mike Ashley, commented: “We had multiple meetings with Intu, but we were no further forward after 14 weeks,”

“Unfortunately, these stores now face closing in the new year. I urge other institutional landlords to be more proactive to help save the House of Fraser stores in their schemes.”

Similarly, a spokesperson for Intu said:

“Of the four stores, two are city centre locations and two are super-regionals, each offering unique opportunities,”

“Our teams are looking at bespoke solutions that will create the right tenant mix to meet the needs of the local market, attracting more customers and ultimately benefiting all our tenants.

“Ideas on the table include not only other large-scale retailers but also non-traditional shopping centre uses.”

The British high street has endured a tough year, with a string of retailers announcing closures of various underperforming sites.

Moreover, retail giants such as Toys R Us and Maplins fell into administration at the beginning of the year, amid increasingly difficult trading conditions.

Most recently, a report conducted by PwC found that the UK high street is facing its toughest start in five years. 

Closures of shops, pubs and restaurants shot up to 4,400 during the first six months of 2018, as consumers increasingly turn their attention to online platforms, shunning traditional brick and mortar stores.

Shares in Sports Direct (LON:SPD) are currently up marginally +0.59% as of 14:46PM (GMT).