House of Fraser looks to raise fresh funding

House of Fraser, the venerable department store business that owns Edinburgh's Jenners, has reportedly approached specialist lenders for tens of millions of pounds in funding as it battles tough trading conditions on the high street.

The House of Fraser chain has 59 stores. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The chain, which has 59 stores and more than 17,000 staff, including those who work within concessions, has faced challenging trading since it was acquired by China’s Sanpower Group in 2014. Its festive trading update released in January revealed that store sales had fallen 2.9 per cent in the run up to Christmas, while online sales tumbled 7.5 per cent as it continued to come under pressure after the launch of a new web platform.

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Earlier this month, it emerged that Sanpower-owned group Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store was selling a 51 per cent stake in House of Fraser – founded in Glasgow in 1849 – to Chinese tourism group Wuji Wenhua.

According to a weekend newspaper report, the retailer was said be looking for up to £40 million from specialist turnaround firms.