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Sports Direct blames Harrods for HoF store closure

Mike Ashley is to close the Milton Keynes House of Fraser store, blaming Harrods for the expected 172 job losses.

Sports Direct International said will shut the store at Centre MK at the end of January. 

It is understood that Harrods holds a legacy to the lease of the store that would entitle it to the site if HoF leaves.

Harrods has said it intends to open the second of its standalone beauty stores, H Beauty, in Milton Keynes next year.

Ashley, Sports Direct chief executive, has claimed he offered to redevelop the entire store or take just part of it, and that Harrods instead plans to take the store back.  

A Sports Direct spokesman said: “We have made multiple offers to both stay and invest in the entire store, or alternatively to take the part of the store that will now be vacant. We are still yet to receive formal acceptance of our proposals, and Harrods are refusing to secure continuity of employment for the staff currently employed by HoF Milton Keynes. Regrettably, we have been left with no choice but to announce the closure of the store on 31 January, causing a devastating number of redundancies.”

A Harrods spokeswoman denied Sports Direct’s claim: “This is about House of Fraser making the decision to close. Harrods has been in conversations with House of Fraser and the landlord to ensure the best outcome, and build a successful business in the local area if they were to leave.”

 

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