Despite being earmarked for closure as part of a CVA this summer, House of Fraser’s outlet on Oxford Street will remain open, as new owner Sports Direct agrees its first deal since acquiring the department store chain.
Sports Direct brought in property specialist CBRE to help negotiate revised terms with landlords so that House of Fraser can remain in occupation on London’s Oxford Street.
The store was one of 31 House of Fraser branches set to close under a CVA announced in June 2018.
CBRE head James Keany said: “This deal only happened because all parties realised it was better to keep the store open and fully operational. It was a real case of landlord and tenant genuinely working together and at great speed. Everyone was sensible about the terms of the transaction”.
This is the first deal to be agreed on a House of Fraser store, transacted in just over a week since Sports Direct acquired the business. The speed of the transaction shows Mike Ashley and his team’s commitment to turn around the House of Fraser Business.
Sports Direct newly-appointed head of elevation Michael Murray, who has been tasked with taking the sports brand upmarket, said: “We said we would keep as many stores open as possible, and in less than a week we have saved the biggest store. Oxford Street was meant to close in January and now it’s safe, which is great news for all parties. Everyone must remember it was a bust business and we need landlords, councils and brands to pull together to save House of Fraser on the high street.”
Sports Direct bought House of Fraser for £90million after it called in administrators on August 10. A huge number of suppliers have been left out of pocked following the collapse of the chain, with administrators Ernst & Young estimating that suppliers are owed £484million.