House of Fraser to cut jobs by 1,000


BRITISH department store chain House of Fraser is to announce around 1,000 job cuts today as part of a sweeping store closure programme, the Independent on Sunday newspaper said yesterday.

At least six of the chain's 52 stores will be closed, the paper quoted market sources as saying. The chain will make the announcement at the same time it reports the results of its Christmas trading.

The reported shake up, which follows a review by new chief executive, Mr John Coleman, will focus on smaller stores such as Arnotts in Scotland and Binns stores in the north of England.

But the newspaper said the group was not planning a full scale rebranding which could wipe out many of its 18 trading names.

"It's not a question of names disappearing, but the bigger, better stores surviving," one market source told the paper.

Last week analysts said the retailer, which made a first half loss of £13.6 million sterling, was also likely to cut costs and writedown unwanted stock.

The group has been beset with problems since its flotation in 1994. The stores have had troubles with stock management and poor sales of its "own bought" ranges in womenswear. No immediate comment was available from House of Fraser.