The retailer is currently in consultation with staff at the affected stores, and said its Bath store was also at risk of closure with Bath City Council refusing to agree new terms. Ashley has previously said he plans to keep 80% of House of Fraser stores trading. New terms have already been agreed at 15 stores which were previously set for closure under a CVA.
Stores which were at risk, where new terms have been agreed are, Altrincham, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Camberley, Carlisle, Darlington, Doncaster, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Lincoln, London (Oxford Street), Middlesbrough, Plymouth, Skipton and Telford. House of Fraser has also agreed terms at Huddersfield, Leeds, Maidstone, Solihull, and Sutton Coldfield.
Some landlords have been asked for six months’ free rent by Ashley, who will not commit to anything thereafter according to reports from Drapers. House of Fraser told Retail Sector it is not willing to comment any further on the closures.
Ashley said: “It’s great news that we’ve already rescued approximately half (48%) of the stores that were due to close in January under a CVA announced by the previous owners. We continue to hope to save at least 80% of stores.
“We’ve showed what we can achieve on the British high street when we work together with landlords. I would like to thank those landlords who have helped us to rescue approximately 3,500 jobs at the stores we have saved to date.
“However, I am disappointed that in my opinion a small number of greedy landlords still refuse to be reasonable. Those landlords whom we have been unable to agree terms with include, but are not limited to, the following: Parabola Hope Street, Redefine Paragon Square Hull, and FI Real Estate Management.”
He added he was “calling on everybody to pull together”, including landlords and local authorities in order to help to save as many House of Fraser stores and jobs as possible on “the great British high street”.