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Edinburgh store among 31 House of Fraser casualties

House of Fraser

Princes street store: scheduled for closure


House of Fraser is closing 31 departments stores, including its branch at the west end of Princes Street, Edinburgh, and axeing 2,000 staff.

A further 4,000 brand and concession roles will be affected in the move which is a response to the relentless rise of online shopping.

The stores scheduled for closure, which include its flagship London Oxford Street store, will stay open until early 2019, House of Fraser said. Closure of the Edinburgh store will affect 127 staff.

The retailer needs the approval of 75% of its creditors to support a company voluntary arrangement, a type of insolvency plan, which also includes rent reductions. They will vote on the proposal on 22 June.

The Edinburgh’s store’s future had been in question since the building went up for sale earlier this year although there was a report at the weekend suggesting even the Glasgow store where the company was established may also have been a victim of the cutback.

David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium said: “This is further evidence of how the retail industry is going through a period of profound transformation driven by changes in shopping habits, weak growth in wages, and rising public policy induced costs. This is upending many retail business models, and that can be painful for the firms involved and for their staff.

“The industry is in the midst of a hugely challenging period and retailers are adapting and trying to reinvent themselves. What is clear is that the retail industry will look very different in the future. This will have implications for public policy, particularly for employment prospects in communities more reliant on retail jobs, for our town centres and for future revenues from taxes on property.”

Stores to close:

Altrincham • Aylesbury • Birkenhead • Birmingham • Bournemouth • Camberley • Cardiff • Carlisle • Chichester • Cirencester • Cwmbran • Darlington • Doncaster • Edinburgh Frasers • Epsom • Grimsby • High Wycombe • Hull • Leamington Spa • Lincoln • London Oxford Street • London King William Street • Middlesbrough • Milton Keynes • Plymouth • Shrewsbury • Skipton • Swindon • Telford • Wolverhampton • Worcester

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