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Philip Day eyes M&S and House of Fraser stores

Retail entrepreneur and Edinburgh Wooden Mill boss Philip Day is reportedly in talks to acquire a small number of Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser stores that are set to close.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Day is aiming to turn the stores into branches of his Days department store chain which he launched in 2017 by converting a former BHS store in Carmarthen, Wales.

He is believed to be in discussions over 10 Marks and Spencer sites and is also eyeing Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser stores where leases are set to expire this autumn. Day wishes to bring his brands, including Jaeger, Austin Reed and Jane Norman all under one roof at 50 locations across the UK.

Marks and Spencer is currently halfway through its plan to axe 100 shops as it seeks to lower its presence on the high street. In January the company confirmed the latest 17 stores which were set to close including: Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston Super Mare.  

It is understood that Day wishes to outright own shops, rather than be subject to rent rises from landlords. His retail group owns about a third of the freeholds to its 1,200 shops.

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