House of Fraser: Sports Direct in talks as closures loom

Sports Direct is in talks with House of Fraser landlords in a move that could hasten potential store closures if agreements on rents and leases fail to be reached.

Owner of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley. Picture: Getty
Owner of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley. Picture: Getty

Commercial property services firm CBRE confirmed yesterday it had been appointed to advise Sports Direct “on all property-related matters in relation to its recent acquisition of House of Fraser”.

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Talks will centre on rental costs and the length of leases, although councils will be part of negotiations in some cases given the impact of business rates on the retailer.

Sports Direct founder and chief executive Mike Ashley said last week the retailer would “do our best to keep as many stores open as possible” after it launched a £90 million rescue of House of Fraser.

But doubt still remains over the long-term future of jobs and whether Mr Ashley will shut underperforming stores as part of a restructuring programme.

Iconic Edinburgh store Jenners is owned by House of Fraser.