House of Fraser set to close in Milton Keynes

    The company is the latest big name to seek a CVA to avoid becoming another casualty of the crisis that has been facing retailers

    House of Fraser is aiming to cut around 6,000 jobs and more than half its stores under a plan to save the chain amid the crisis facing the high street

    The chain warned it did "not have a viable future" unless creditors and landlords backed its proposals.

    It said that in addition to its Chinese shareholder taking a 51% stake and injecting millions in new funding, House of Fraser planned to close 31 of its 59 stores across the UK and Ireland by early 2019 and relocate its main offices to save cash.

    It said those changes would affect 2,000 of the 5,000 people it employs directly and 4,000 brand and concession partner staff who had already been informed.

    The stores it is seeking agreement to close are: Altrincham, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Camberley, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chichester, Cirencester, Cwmbran, Darlington, Doncaster, Edinburgh Frasers, Epsom, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Hull, Leamington Spa, Lincoln, London Oxford Street, London King Willam Street, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Skipton, Swindon, Telford, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

    House of Fraser is the latest big name to seek a CVA to avoid becoming another casualty of the crisis that has been facing retailers - with some of the pain self-inflicted as high rents have combined with a trend away from high streets to online shopping.

    Consumers have also been feeling the pinch from Brexit-linked price rises and weak wage growth - factors which claimed Toys R Us UK and Maplin.

    Mothercare, Carpetright and even Poundworld are among chains feeling the strain.

    Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: "The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive. Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base, which without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business."

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