Mike Ashely has revealed he plans to pledge hundreds of millions of pounds into relaunching House of Fraser in return for a three-year rent holiday.
According to The Sunday Times, Ashley plans to open 31 upmarket stores rebranded to “Frasers” over the next five years – with five of these stores set for launch in 2020. These stores will reportedly look to stock luxury brands such as Gucci and Paul Smith.
The group’s flagship Glasgow store already trades under the Frasers name and its Belfast outlet is among one of the first stores rumoured to be rebranded and included in the plan.
The Sports Direct boss bought House of Fraser out administration for £90m last August pledging to turn it into the “Harrods of the high street”. Since then he has closed five stores and confirmed agreements on at least 37 others, many of which are on one-year agreements set to expire in August this year.
Reports suggest the landlords have reportedly welcomed the planned investment but have doubts over Ashley’s plans for rent holidays on refurbished stores. It is also expected that Ashley ,following the rent holidays, plans for the subsequent rents to be linked to store performance.