House of Fraser on London's Oxford Street saved from closure

House of Fraser's flagship store on London's Oxford Street has been saved from closure, it has been announced.

The beleaguered department store group collapsed into administration, before being snapped up by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.

The key Oxford Street site, in central London, had been due to close under a House of Fraser company voluntary arrangement (CVA) announced in June.

James Keany, head of national agency at CBRE, the real estate services and investment firm which is  advising Sports Direct on all property-related matters regarding HoF, said: "This deal only happened because all parties realised it was better to keep the store open and fully operational.

James Keany, head of CBRE and Eleanor Dalley, general manager of House of Fraser Oxford Street store. (CBRE/PA)
James Keany of CBRE and Eleanor Dalley, general manager of House of Fraser Oxford Street store (CBRE/PA)

"It was a real case of landlord and tenant genuinely working together and at great speed. Everyone was sensible about the terms of the transaction."

This is the first deal to be agreed on a House of Fraser store since Sports Direct stepped in earlier this month.

Michael Murray, Sports Direct's head of elevation, suggested the speed with which the deal was struck showed a commitment to turn around the House of Fraser business.

He said: "We said we would keep as many stores open as possible, and in less than a week we have saved the biggest store.

"Oxford street was meant to close in January and now it's safe, which is great news for all parties.

"Everyone must remember it was a bust business and we need landlords, councils and brands to pull together to save House of Fraser on the high street."

HoF had recently agreed a so-called CVA with landlords to close half of stores, with 6,000 jobs in the firing line.

A release by public relations firm Keith Bishop Associates announcing the deal says it creates jobs on the high street and ensures HoF continues to trade on London's famous street but gave no further details.

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