House of Fraser (HoF) suppliers are holding firm after it emerged that a credit insurer has decided to stop providing cover to some of them.
The unnamed insurer, which reached the decision a month ago, covered roughly 20 of HoF’s 650 suppliers.
While the department store’s suppliers were “not surprised” by the decision, several reaffirmed their commitment to the retailer.
One supplier said: “My message to all of those concerned is to keep calm and carry on – I’m not worried about it. I think it is reflective of trade in general and House of Fraser will weather the storm. Insurance is based on historical trading, and this is evidently on the back of its [poor] Christmas results.
“HoF is still one of the biggest branded department stores in the UK, so everyone in the industry will be keeping their fingers crossed. Trade has been good with House of Fraser for us– I wouldn’t say it’s great, but it’s not great anywhere [at the minute].”
Another supplier noted: “We actually haven’t been able to get insurance on HoF for some time now. We will continue to trade with House of Fraser but I know many are avoiding it. Our exposure is manageable but I would not increase the number of stores [we stock] at this stage.”
A source familiar with the situation said HoF’s team has been “reassuring” its suppliers over the past few weeks, pointing to its new buying and merchandising director hire, Simon Pickering, as well as new store experiences as a result of investment from its owner Sanpower.
She added: “I’m philosophical about it – there’s nothing I can do about it. The insurance being pulled doesn’t affect us – the problem would be if they went under, and arguably its owner will do anything to prevent this from happening. Internally there doesn’t seem to be any worry – no one seems to be panicking about this.”