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Mike Ashley vows to save 80pc of House of Fraser stores in turnaround effort

Discount retail tycoon Mike Ashley has said he will keep 80pc of House of Fraser shops open and stock its shelves with luxury goods, as part of a plan to transform the business after striking a ?90m deal to buy it out of administration.
Mr Ashley said: “In a year’s time you can hold my feet to the fire on that.”
More than half of the department store’s 59 outlets were earmarked for closure before the rescue deal. The plan to save more stores could mean that the flagship Oxford Street shop is saved if the company can strike a deal with landlords and suppliers.
Mr Ashley has previously said he wants to turn House of Fraser, which has 16,000 staff, into the “Harrods of the High Street”.
Mike Ashley vows to save 80pc of House of Fraser stores in turnaround effort

House of Fraser 
He told The Sun: “In Harrods you get some exceptional services. What we would like to do is introduce a ‘concierge click and collect’ at House of Fraser.”
Mr Ashley said that customers should be able to not only collect online orders in store, but also book a time slot, a changing room and a stylist.
The retail boss also wants to bring more luxury brands, such as Gucci and Prada, into House of Fraser to improve its appeal. He said he was also considering converting entire floors in larger House of Fraser stores to his Sports Direct or Flannels chains.
Mr Ashley bought luxury fashion retailer Flannels in 2012. The chain, which has 24 stores, with three more due to open, sells brands including Burberry, Jimmy Choo and Versace.
EY was appointed administrator on Friday after attempts to secure a solvent sale of the department store chain failed.
1,300 retail store closures and counting: tracking the high street's miserable start to 2018
It sealed an agreement with Mr Ashley on the same day. He bought House of Fraser’s brand, assets and stock, but will not take responsibility for the company’s pension scheme.
The Daily Telegraph previously reported that creditors will face significant losses on House of Fraser’s ?350m debts through the move.
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