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Gloucestershire Business News

Further store closures hit House of Fraser

House of Fraser owner Frasers Group is closing two more of its department stores as the retail giant continues to focus on its Sports Direct and Flannels flagships, according to Retail Gazette.

House of Fraser has closed the doors to its store in Solihull on August 28 and its branch in Guildford will close on September 30.

Questions, therefore, hang over the iconic 200-year-old department store on Cheltenham's Promenade, Cavendish House, as to its stability and future.

In the year to April 30, Frasers has axed eight of its department store branches, taking the total number of stores to 31 across the UK.

It has almost halved in size from 59 stores since it was bought out of administration by Mike Ashley's group back in August 2018.

The news comes almost two years after its former rival Debenhams left British high streets.

Frasers Group boss Michael Murray warned last month that more of its department stores were set to close. He said that House of Fraser's portfolio was "continually under review" and that some outlets were still "too big and we have to find solutions for the excess space".

A spokeswoman for Frasers Group said: "It is with regret that we announce House of Fraser Solihull and Guildford are planned to close."

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication. Where possible, we are committed to finding new roles within the group for all staff."

Last month, Frasers Group saw its profits nearly double for the year ending April 30, as adjusted pre-tax profit came in at £478.1m, up from £339.8m last year, hitting the higher end of its forecast range which was between £450-500m.

The FTSE 100-listed firm founded by Mike Ashley expects profit to grow by at least 5% in the current financial year, with adjusted pre-tax profit in the range of £500m to £550m, representing "strong underlying trading profit progression".

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