HOUSE of Fraser could vanish from the high street as it prepares to shut half of its stores, putting 6,000 jobs at risk in the process.
The department store unveiled plans to close as many as 31 of its 59 shops – including its famous outlet in Oxford Street – in a drastic attempt to save the business and cut costs.
The decision would affect about 2,000 of the 5,000 workers House of Fraser employs directly as well as 4,000 brand and concession roles.
The company said it has already informed those whose jobs are impacted.
The closures are part of a so-called Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will require approval from creditors who will make their decision on June 22.
As part of the CVA process, House of Fraser also plans to relocate its Baker Street head office and Granite House office in Glasgow to new locations to help cut costs.
HOUSE of Fraser stores identified for closure under the CVA proposal:
The company said it expects stores that are scheduled for closure to remain open until early next year.
Frank Slevin, Chairman of House of Fraser, said: “The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive.
“Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base, which without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business.
“So whilst closing stores is a very difficult decision, especially given the length of relationship House of Fraser has with all its locations, there should be no doubt that it is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive.”
House of Fraser is not the only retailer struggling to stay afloat.
Poundworld is the latest retailer expected to call in administrators within days if it doesn’t find a buyer, according to sources, putting 5,300 jobs at risk.
Earlier this year, both Maplin and Toys R Us called it a day, and Carpetright, Mothercare and New Look have all announced that they will be closing stores.
Restaurant groups including Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Byron have also been shutting dozens of stores as they are squeezed by rising costs and a fall in consumer spending.
Just last week, Marks & Spencer announced it will shut a further 14 stores as part of its restructuring plan.
A RED flag went up over House of Fraser after poor Christmas trading, but its issues were deep-seated.
There’s been an exodus of top management and a lack of investment under Chinese owners Sanpower.
The green light for the rescue hinges on a creditors’ vote this month.