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.
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.