House Of Fraser Stores In Solihull And Sutton Coldfield Saved
23 September 2018, 07:08 | Updated: 23 September 2018, 07:09
New House of Fraser owner Mike Ashley's managed to save some stores from closure - including two across Birmingham and the Black Country.
Those in Solihull and Sutton Coldfield are some of 20 being kept open nationally - with 3,500 jobs being saved overall.
However - stores in Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon are to close, with Mike Ashley blaming landlords for putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
The Sports Direct tycoon, who recently bought the department store chain out of administration for £90 million, has been in tense talks with over rents in recent weeks - with landlords of those three branches refusing to agree new terms.
Staff at these locations, which number in the hundreds, are now going through redundancy consultation.
A fourth House of Fraser in Bath is also at risk of closure as the businessman tussles with Bath City Council, the store's landlord, over new rental terms.
The billionaire, who also owns Newcastle United, described landlords who have refused new terms as "greedy".
"I am disappointed that in my opinion a small number of greedy landlords still refuse to be reasonable," he said.
"Those landlords whom we have been unable to agree terms with include, but are not limited to, the following: Parabola Hope Street LLP, Redefine Paragon Square Hull Limited, and FI Real Estate Management Ltd."
It is understood that landlords are reluctant to agree to the low, or in some cases zero, rents Mr Ashley is demanding.
Mr Ashley's pledged to save around 47 of House of Fraser's 59 outlets since buying the chain.
He recently struck a deal to save House of Fraser's flagship store in Oxford Street.
Mr Ashley added: "We've showed what we can achieve on the British high street when we work together with landlords.
"I would like to thank those landlords who have helped us to rescue approximately 3,500 jobs at the stores we have saved to date.
"I am calling on everybody to pull together, including landlords and local authorities in order to help to save as many House of Fraser stores and jobs as possible on the great British high street."