House of Fraser

House of Fraser is closing 31 stores

And it's probably not gonna be the last story like this

In the latest high-streets-shutting-down case study, House of Fraser is closing 31 stores across the country.

What it means: The chairman, Frank Slevin, said the cost of keeping up shops was an 'existential threat' to the business. Weird though it seems that keeping up shops is an existential threat to a business that's fundamentally about shopping, it goes to show how much the way we consume has changed.

A fifth of retail is bought online in the UK, and House of Fraser (along with the countless other stores closed this year) is catching up – 35,000 jobs have been put at risk just this year because of all the closures, as companies invest in things like web design and IT instead.

Using what's called a 'company voluntary agreement', which allows companies to change the terms of contracts with landlords early if they want to, they're exiting 31 leases early and reducing the rent on the rest. Obviously, this has annoyed landlords somewhat: they say this 'CVA' thing is unfair to them when everyone else involved gets full payouts.

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