House of Fraser at Meadowhall set to close next month with all staff at risk of redundancy
House of Fraser at Meadowhall is set to close next month before becoming a new Flannels store, it is understood.
The department store is due to close on January 3, The Star has learned, with staff having been told that all roles are at risk of redundancy.
But it will be replaced by a new branch of the designer fashion chain Flannels, run by Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group, which also owns House of Fraser.
Frasers Group announced in August that more House of Fraser stores could close, following a 20 per cent fall in profits, but it did not say which were most at risk.
The group, whose other brands include Sports Direct and Evans Cycles, recently revealed plans to open 17 new Flannels stores by the end of 2021.
According to the Meadowhall website, only the upper level of the House of Fraser there is currently open.
It is understood that signs in the windows of the store refer to it being refurbished, with no mention of plans to transform the premises into a Flannels branch.
But The Star understands House of Fraser is being replaced by Flannels as the existing store is not considered to be financially viable.
House of Fraser staff could be offered alternative roles within Frasers, it is understood.
There is already a Flannels store at Meadowhall, where the new flagship branch of the fashion chain is believed to be scheduled to open in late spring or early summer.
Frasers today announced a 17.6 per cent rise in profits for the half-year to the end of October, despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
As well as a strong start in its stores since the first lockdown ended, the company credited growth in its online business, new stores opened by its Flannels brand and operating efficiencies for the strong performance.
In January, it was announced that the Frasers Group was opening a ‘landmark’ new 65,000 sq ft upmarket ‘Frasers store’ at Meadowhall, with the project expected to be completed by spring 2021.
Frasers said at the time that phase one was due to open in early winter this year, selling men’s and women’s fashion, including premium accessories and footwear.
It also outlined plans for a beauty hall including a bar and café plus brand pop-ups, wellness services, treatment rooms and masterclasses.
It said the second phase would mark the arrival of group’s multi-brand luxury fashion retailer Flannels within the store.
Flannels first opened in the north of England in 1976, with its London flagship store opening in September 2019, and its website describes it as ‘one of the UK’s leading luxury retailers’.
The retailer opened its existing 10,000 sq ft store at Meadowhall in 2017.
Frasers is in talks with Debenhams’ administrators about a possible rescue deal which it hopes can save at least some of the 12,000 jobs put at risk by the retailer’s potential liquidation.
The Debenhams at Meadowhall is among the stores at risk of closure, though it is currently still trading.