HOUSE of Fraser is to axe failing stores or cut their size following a disappointing Christmas, according to reports.
The struggling department store chain is eager to trim its £88million-a-year property bill.
PA:Press Association Struggling House of Fraser plots a sell-off of failing stores after a disappointing Christmas
No store closures have been confirmed yet. But all the outlets are understood to be under review as the company wants to cut its property costs by a whopping 30 per cent in next five to ten years, according to Daily Mail.
Commenting on store closures in an interview with ITV, chief executive Alex Williamson said: “When opportunities arise, we will consider all the options available to us on individual stores.
“Of course, we would then approach our relationship with colleagues who work in those stores very sensitively. Right now those conversations are not happening.”
The news comes after the department store suffered a “disappointing” Christmas with sales in stores falling by 2.9 per cent in the six weeks to December 23. Web sales also slumped by 7.5 per cent.
PA:Press Association House of Fraser has sparked fresh fears for its future by begging its landlords to slash rent demands
Last week, the store has also sparked fears for its future by begging its landlords to slash rent demands.
House of Fraser, which is privately owned by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower, has made informal approaches to some of the owners of its 59 British stores to ask for help in reining in costs.
It said it had asked for its landlords’ support “as we drive forward with our transformation programme”.
On Thursday, chief executive Alex Williamson, insisted that House of Fraser is a business “in transition” which is focused on driving profitability rather than chasing revenue.
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He said: “We are not a business determined to sell everything to everyone at any price”
He added that turnaround efforts were continuing “at pace” and added its online offering was now “back on track” after recent disruption.
House of Fraser is not the only struggling chain on the high street.