House of Fraser is to close more than half its UK stores, putting a further 6,000 jobs at risk and dealing another hammer blow to the high street.
The move by the 169-year-old company is part of a rescue plan that will also lead to House of Fraser moving out of its head offices in London and Glasgow.
Alex Williamson, the retailer’s chief executive, said it would close a distribution centre in Milton Keynes, threatening an unknown number of jobs. Without the proposed store closures, House of Fraser said the business was likely to collapse.
“A decision to close this number of stores is not done lightly. This is really grim,” Williamson said. “It is a highly emotional, highly regrettable situation that none of us either imagined or wanted to see happen, but there is simply no alternative.”