Mike Ashley hopes to keep 47 of 59 House of Fraser stores open

Mike Ashley has detailed his hopes to keep 47 of 59 House of Fraser stores open, partly by turning over floors of larger shops to Sports Direct of his Flannels chain.

The Sports Direct owner has said he wants to retain 80 per cent of House of Fraser’s stores and bring in “cools brand of the moment.”

“We think the biggest and most important thing House of Fraser is missing is luxury brands. We think it will make a big difference,” he said.

The retail entrepreneur said that in stores such as the one in Birmingham, whole floors could be turned over to Sports Direct under his strategy for the business, which he bought out of administration for £90 million last week.

Among the stores that could be saved is the Oxford Street flagship in London, if the right rental deal can be agreed.

Ashley is running House of Fraser’s stores under license fro the company’s administrator, EY, and is free to hand back the keys without penalty on any store he does not want.

It has also emerged that a group of five landlords have been awarded a £1m cash pay out as part of an out of court settlement with House of Fraser’s former owners, relating to a CVA agreed before the department store fell into administration.

Meanwhile, Sports Direct has written to suppliers – those due to be paid this week and thought to be owed more than £60 million – informing them that they will only be paid once the firm comes out of administration.

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