Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, has been named as one of the potential investors in talks about a rescue deal with House of Fraser according to an article by Drapers. The latest from Sky News reported that Day, whose retail empire includes Peacocks and Jane Norman, is one of a few potential investors referred to by HoF in a statement on Wednesday disclosing it was in talks with unnamed backers.
It was a bitter blow for HoF when Chinese backers, C Banner's withdrew from their investment. The deal was said to be in the execution phase when C Banner pulled the rug out, partly due to their own shares plummeting in recent months.
A spokeswoman for HoF said: “In light of C Banner’s announcement (and as per House of Fraser’s previous statement to the Luxembourg Exchange) House of Fraser is in discussions with alternative investors and is exploring options to obtain the required investment on the same timetable.
HoF were already in talks to shut down 31 of their 59 stores and this withdrawal looked to be the final straw. However, HoF aren't done yet.
What are House of Fraser's hopes of survival?
Day is thought to be among other potential investors including turnaround specialist Alteri Investors and Mike Ashley of Sports Direct.
Ashley already has a slice of the HoF pie and could possibly look to amalgamate HoF with his other sinking ship Debenhams. He will inevitably take a hit with the dilution of two stores, but it could be the last hope for the two of them to salvage anything.
According to an article in The Guardian, the closures will result in about 6,000 job losses from the 17,000-strong workforce and the company has warned the only alternative is to go into administration.
“Whilst closing stores is a very difficult decision, especially given the length of relationship House of Fraser has with all its locations, there should be no doubt that it is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive,” said chairman Frank Slevin.
I've personally been a massive fan of House of Fraser and their own brands including Howick and Linea for such a long time and would be devastated if this giant of the UK high street goes. If you've been out of touch on their men's clothing, click on the below image for a couple of outfits I've styled with items exclusively from House of Fraser.