House of Fraser said the decision follows “various meetings” with the landlord, Intu Properties, but despite their “best efforts” the companies were unable to agree “reasonable terms” for these stores to continue trading.
In a statement, House of Fraser said: “Sadly, we are now in consultation with staff about the fact these stores face closure. We hope other institutional landlords will continue to work with us in order to save stores and jobs.”
Mike Ashley added: “We had multiple meetings with Intu, but we were no further forward after 14 weeks. Unfortunately, these stores now face closing in the New Year. I urge other institutional landlords to be more proactive to help save the HoF stores in their schemes.”
Intu confirmed it had been unable to reach an agreement with Mr Ashley. It told BBC News: “House of Fraser stores in our portfolio will be closing in early 2019, representing around 1% of our secured rent and 526,000 sq ft of retail space. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to re-engineer and re-let this underperforming space to new and exciting alternatives.”
Since buying House of Fraser in August, owner Ashley said he was hopeful of keeping all 59 stores open however so far deals have been made to save at least 20 stores, safeguarding about 3,500 jobs, but at least eight are closing.