House of Fraser to close stores in reorganisation

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The measures were bound to create uncertainty for employees but were "essential to ensure that House of Fraser remains an iconic department store group for many years to come", he said.

A CVA is created to help a struggling company to pay back a proportion of its debts over time.

Former owners Nanjing Cenbest sold a 51pc stake in House of Fraser to its subsidiary on the condition that it would close several of the brand's 59 outlets.

Reports suggest that stores may reduce their floorspace in a number of cities.

House of Fraser leases the Chichester building and previous year in April the freehold was sold for £13.4m, with new owners the Charities Property Fund throwing some doubt over its future there by saying at the time: "It is a very attractive building and offers a number of opportunities for alternative uses in the future".

House of Fraser is to close stores as part of a formal restructuring deal under which the Chinese owner of Hamleys will take control of the department store chain, founded in Glasgow.

House of Fraser employs around 6,000 people and 11,500 concession staff.

The firm, which has a fashion store and cafe on Lincoln High Street, is selling a 51% stake in the business for an estimated £70 million to Chinese retailer and Hamleys owner Nanjing Cenbest.

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And today, when asked directly if Chichester's was earmarked for closure, a House of Fraser spokesman said: "At the moment, we can not give a statement about the CVA as no details have been published".

The department store's chairman, Frank Slevin, said there had been progress on a shake-up of the business but more needed to be done "to confront the seismic shifts in the retail industry".

House of Fraser responded then by saying: "This does not affect the store in anyway, its current use or our tenancy agreement".

"C.banner's investment is a vote of confidence in our prospects", he said.

Yvonne Keating and John Cole Chief Executive of House of Fraser cut the ribbon at the opening of the store in the new Dundrum Town centre Dublin, on the first day it opened it doors to the public.

He added that to create a "sustainable, long-term business", "difficult decisions about our underperforming legacy stores" were required.

As well as the Beatties store in Wolverhampton and another in Solihull, House of Fraser has branches in Birmingham, Telford and Shrewsbury.