House of Fraser to shut iconic Oxford Street store

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Flagship shop will close in January 2022

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NS

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The House of Fraser has announced plans to permanently close its flagship Oxford Street store.

A spokesperson for parent company Fraser Group said: “It is with regret that we have been given notice by the landlord to close the House of Fraser, Oxford Street – following planning permission for the redevelopment of the site.

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“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their hard work and dedication.”

The store will be closed from January 2022. The closure comes after developers were given approval for a £100 million redevelopment of the House of Fraser Oxford Street building. 318 Oxford Street was built in 1937 and was originally occupied by department store DH Evans, but has been occupied by the House of Fraser since 2000.

The Fraser Group, which is owned by Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, pulled the House of Fraser out of administration in 2018, but the department store has continued to struggle.

“Since the acquisition in 2018, we have worked closely with the landlord to keep the store trading 3 years longer than initially proposed by the previous owner, despite the challenges we have faced,” a Fraser spokesperson said.

House of Fraser is the third major retailer to close its Oxford Street branch in the past year. Both Topshop and Debenhams have left the area. Ikea is set to acquire the Oxford Street store.

Fraser Group used today’s statement to attack the government’s widely hated trade rate system

The spokesperson said: “As a business that continues to make significant investments in the British High Street, we feel it is appropriate to recognize and request an immediate review of the current antiquated trade rates, which are surprisingly out of date. If If commercial rates are reviewed, it will support the future of House of Fraser. Without this, further store closures are inevitable.”

Commercial rates are the tax levied on the value of a commercial building. Retailers say that construction prices are reviewed too slowly, giving them unrealistic costs, and the rates put them at a disadvantage to online rivals.

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