Sports Direct International has confirmed that it is “working rapidly on [its] ongoing investment programme with the [House of Fraser] brand” following reports in the Sunday papers that that there would be widespread closures of HoF stores after the Christmas trading period.
In a statement, a Sports Direct spokeswoman said: ”Sports Direct has entered into new leases on the majority of House of Fraser stores. Sports Direct continues to work with landlords across the whole of the remaining House of Fraser estate.”
She added: “It is therefore totally incorrect to assume that there will be large numbers of store closures in the new year.”
Sports Direct acquired House of Fraser from administrator EY for £90m in August 2018.
However, at the time of Sports Direct delayed results, Ashley branded some of the chain’s problems “nothing short of terminal in nature”.
In May HoF revealed it is planning to change 31 stores into a premium chain under the Frasers name over the next five years, starting with five in 2020. The new stores will be modelled on luxury department store chain Flannels, which is also owned by Sports Direct.