According to the Sunday Times, the Sports Direct boss met with agents at retail estate agency CBRE last week to discuss the stores to shutter. Following Ashley’s takeover, House of Fraser stores have been operating on a lease which allows them to close with just two months notice.
Ashley is also said to have offered short term leasing deals to landlords which tie rent to retail performance, on some larger stores Ashley is said to have offered to pay business rates but no rent.
The news comes after the retailer announced last week it was to close its Manchester branch, with stores in Cirencester, Shrewsbury, Hull, Swindon, Edinburgh and Exeter also expected to close. House of Fraser failed to comment when contacted by Retail Sector.