House of Fraser announces store closures as new owners takeover

The British department store chain has formally announced Chinese investor C. Banner will lead the company

House of Fraser's new owners have revealed store closure plans in a bid to turn around profits.

Chinese investment company C. Banner took a 51% stake in the department store chain from Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store.

House of Fraser is expected to embark upon the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) store restructure plan in June and to conclude by early 2019.

It has not announced how many stores will be affected.

Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store is said to continue as a minority stakeholder.

Frank Slevin, Chairman of House of Fraser, said: “We need to go further and faster if we are to confront the seismic shifts in the retail industry.

“There is a need to create a leaner business that better serves the rapidly changing behaviours of a customer base which increasingly shops channel agnostically.

“House of Fraser’s future will depend on creating the right portfolio of stores that are the right size and in the right location.”

Founded in 1849 by Scottish drapers Hugh Fraser and James Arthur, the retailer has turned a number of hands including Icelandic investment company Baugur Group and Chinese firm Sanpower.

House of Fraser currently has 59 UK retail sites and announced details last year to open 30 stores in China, as part of its three year expansion strategy.

In 2012, the retailer opened its first overseas store in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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