19-Jun-2018
ukmalayaleeBack to UK News

House of Fraser to close 31 of its 59 stores in UK and Ireland with 6,000 jobs at risk

LONDON June 8: House of Fraser's owners have announced 6,000 employees are at risk of losing their jobs as they plan to close more than half of their stores.   
 
The retailer today revealed 31 of its 59 shops - including its flagship Oxford Street store - would shut as part of a rescue deal to keep some of its smaller branches trading.  
 
Workers at Oxford Street only found out they stand to be made redundant this morning - hours after the news by the company's Chinese proprietors had been broken. 
 
Employees are reportedly 'devastated' with the shock disclosure while one customer poignantly commented outside one outlet this afternoon: 'the days of department stores are gone'. 
 
This is the latest big-name blow to the British high street which is facing crisis as chains increasingly are shutting stores to focus on online sales.     
 
Budget retailer Poundworld revealed on the same day it is heading into administration, putting 5,300 people's jobs at risk.
 
The retail sector is Britain's biggest employer with 4.6million working in the industry. 
 
But in recent years as shoppers move online, jobs have increasingly been put as risk with the likes of New Look and Marks and Spencer announcing store closures this year and Maplin and Toys R Us closing altogether. 
 
House of Fraser is expected to be the first of many big names to announce closures this year with experts predicting up to 10,000 further stores will shut their doors by the end of 2018. 
 
The firm, brought by Chinese firm Sanpower for £480million in 2014, will shut its flagship store on Oxford Street as well as branches in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Milton Keynes. Wales will be left with no remaining stores as both the Cardiff and Cwmbran branches are set for closure. 
 
The company is understood to have agreed a restructuring plan which will see all but its most modern stores, and those in large shopping centres, close.