Sports Direct to close four more House of Fraser stores

Marco Green
November 15, 2018

Sports Direct said it had engaged with the company but was ultimately "unable to agree reasonable terms for these stores to continue trading".

Intu Properties, now the subject of possible takeover interest, said in response: "We have been advised this morning that the four House of Fraser stores in our portfolio will be closing in early 2019, representing around 1% of our secured rent and 526,000 sq ft of retail space".

Shops in Nottingham, Lakeside in Essex and the Metrocentre in Gateshead will also shut.

Four further House of Fraser stores set within shopping centres are to close after negotiations over rental costs between new owner Mike Ashley and landlord Intu Properties failed.

The Sports Direct billionaire, who swooped on House of Fraser in August when it collapsed into administration, has been trying to negotiate rent cuts for the stores.

In a statement, it said: "We had various meetings with the landlord, Intu, and adopted a flexible approach".

Chapelfield operator Intu said it had been told the Norwich store would close "next year" as part of a "national stores review".

"Despite our best efforts we have been unable to agree reasonable terms. sadly, we are now in consultation with staff about the fact these stores face closure. I urge other institutional landlords to be more proactive to help save the HoF stores in their schemes", he said.

A group led by John Whittaker's Peel Group now has until November 22 to make a firm offer. It has also struck deals with the landlords of the former Rackhams store in Birmingham and the House of Fraser store in Telford.

Following the purchase, Mr Ashley said he was hopeful that most of the department store chain's 59 sites would remain open.

Ashley has previously said he hopes to save at least 80 per cent of House of Fraser's stores, and has blamed "greedy" landlords for closures.

The tycoon has warned that time is running out for rent deals to be arranged.

Intu has been contacted for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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