In depth 

Last chance for the high street

Last chance for the high street

After a dismal Christmas trading period capped a poor 2017, House of Fraser’s net loss for the 12 months to January 2018 stood at £37m. With the shadow of its rent bill lengthening, the department store had little option but to try to strike a deal with its landlords. An insolvency arrangement, backed by creditors but bitterly opposed by some landlords, exposed another fracture in the British high street, and the tension between its property owners and tenants. But ultimately without the lifeline thrown to it by Mike Ashley and Sports Direct (SPD), House of Fraser would have been resigned to the growing list of failed shopping stalwarts.

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