239 jobs at risk following announcement of House of Fraser closure

House of Fraser mk store
House of Fraser mk store

More than 200 jobs are at risk following the announcement today that House of Fraser is to close its Milton Keynes branch. The move, which is part of a rescue deal by the retail giant, will close 31 branches across the country next year including the Centre:MK store.

If the plan is approved 6,000 jobs will be affected nationwide, putting 239 posts at Milton Keynes at risk.

Staff at the Milton Keynes store were not able to comment on the planned closure, but Kim Priest head of marketing at centre:mk said: “At the moment our House of Fraser store is still open and trading.”

The stores scheduled for closure, including its flagship London Oxford store, will stay open until early 2019.

A spokesman for House of Fraser head office told the Citizen: “We are not making statements on individual stores. But the move is part of a big restructuring plan by our owners and not based on the performance of the closing branches.”

The shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has urged House of Fraser management to engage with the union over the planned closures.

Dave Gill, Usdaw national officer, said: “This is devastating news for House of Fraser. We are receiving calls from loyal and long-serving staff who are extremely worried.

“I have today called on the company to engage in urgent talks, so that we can challenge the business case, investigate what can be done to save jobs and represent out members’ best interests.”

The retailer needs the approval of 75 percent of its creditors to go ahead.

Creditors will vote on the insolvency plan, which involves company voluntary arrangement (CVAs), on June 22.

The Milton Keynes branch first opened in 2007 following the re-branding of Dickens & Jones.

The original store opened in 1981 in the then brand new Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, centre:mk

Dickens and Jones MK branch was completely destroyed by a fire in 1988, and was subsequently rebuilt on its current site.