Mike Ashley pays surprise visit House of Fraser warehouse in Milton Keynes days after 300 workers were given notice

New House of Fraser owner Mike Ashley paid a surprise visit to the store’s Mk warehouse this morning, just days after all 300 workers were given notice of redundancy.

Staff at the Northfield depot were given the notice on Friday and sent home, on fully pay, for the 45 day consultation period.

But many opted to go into work, where they are playing cards, darts and pool to pass the time.

“Mike Ashley just walked in this morning. He signed the guest book and has a look round. We were really surprised,” said one worker.

“But we have been told nothing about his plans and whether are jobs will be saved. We’re not expecting much as he has his own warehouse operation and it’s not likely he’ll need us,” he added.

It is understood that Mr Ashley is now on his way to the warehouse in Wellingborough.

The warehouse is run by contractors XPO Logistics and many of the employees have worked there for many years, said GMB union organiser Alan Costello.

“It’s a massive blow for them and they have been left in limbo,” he said.

XPO were owed millions by House of Fraser when the company went into liquidation with massive debts earlier this month.

Earlier this year the company had been forced to make more than 70 redundancies at the warehouse.

“The remaining staff are worried, of course they are. The Milton Keynes warehouse has always paid good rates and it will be hard for the workers to find similar jobs with the same pay,” said Mr Costello.

Meanwhile the 239 people who work at the House of Fraser store at the centre:mk are also facing uncertainty .

The House of Fraser chain has been bought by Mike Ashley a hour after it went into administration.

Mr Ashley, who owns Sports Direct and Newcastle United football club, has yet to announce how many jobs will be saved.

But he has said he will save around 47 of House of Fraser’s 59 stores in the UK.

He plans to transform the retailer into the “Harrods of the high street”.

Mr Costello said: “It’s time for Mike Ashley to show that his rescue plan for House of Fraser is not simply a plan to boost his bank balance at the expense of House of Fraser workers and our members.”


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