Nottingham’s House of Fraser store to close after rent row

Mike Ashley blames landlords for the closure

Sports Direct is to close its House of Fraser store in Nottingham’s intu Victoria Centre.

The company, which bought House of Fraser out of administration in August for £90m, blamed landlords for not being more “proactive” in order to save the store.

Sports Direct has also announced it is closing House of Fraser stores in Lakeside in Essex, its Metrocentre operation in Gateshead and sites in Norwich.

In a statement, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley said: “We had various meetings with the landlord, Intu Properties, and adopted a flexible approach.

“Despite our best efforts we have been unable to agree reasonable terms for these stores to continue trading.

“Sadly, we are now in consultation with staff about the fact these stores face closure.

“We hope other institutional landlords will continue to work with us in order to save stores and jobs.”

“Unfortunately, these stores now face closing in the New Year.

“I urge other institutional landlords to be more proactive to help save the HoF stores in their schemes.”

Responding,

Nigel Wheatley, general manager at intu Victoria Centre, said: “We have been advised today that the House of Fraser at intu Victoria Centre will be closing next year as part of their national stores review. We have had a number of meetings with Sports Direct to try to agree terms. While we cannot discuss the detail, we have been unable to reach an agreement.

“There’s a lot going on at the centre and our plans mean that we have a number of exciting new brands either now open or currently in negotiations to take their first stores at intu Victoria Centre, whilst others are looking at their existing stores to make sure they are making the most of their presence in the centre. We’re sure that this investment will create new jobs.

“We also believe there is a real opportunity to reuse this space for new and exciting alternatives. We have a strong track record of doing just that with the great success of Nottingham Street Food Club and Meetspace VR, which opened last month, and have some great ideas on the table including other big retail brands but also non-traditional shopping centre uses.

“Our teams continually look at options that will create the right mix of retail and leisure to meet the needs of our customers, giving them a great experience and even more reasons to smile.”

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