House of Fraser’s London stores were subject to soaring business rates following the government’s revaluation last year.
The overall rateable value on the retailer’s stores and outlets across England and Wales jumped 13.8% to £59.5m in 2017 as result of the shake-up, according to real estate advisor Altus Group. HoF is facing an average annual rates bill of £570,641 per store, resulting in a £30.2m overall bill for this year.
Hamleys owner C Banner has entered into a conditional agreement with HoF’s parent company, Nanjing Cenbest, to acquire a 51% stake in House of Fraser Group, but the deal is subject to the department store chain restructuring its property portfolio.
HoF is also believed to have begun talks with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Industry sources have said that the PPF’s support, alongside the support of landlords, could be essential for the store restructuring, The Times has reported.
Industry sources have said the department store’s proposed CVA was “inevitable” and said smaller, regional stores could be at risk.