Sports Direct have said it has entered into new leases on the majority of its House of Fraser stores and that it was “working rapidly” on its investment scheme for the chain.
The statement from the Mike Ashley-owned company comes after the report in The Sunday Telegraph suggesting that Sports Direct planning to shut down almost all House of Fraser stores after the crucial Christmas trading period comes to an end.
The article went on to suggest Sports Direct was either not paying rent or preparing to end the leases on most of its 50 or so remaining stores in the UK.
However, Sports Direct has strongly denied and rejected this and issued in a statement,
“This refers to a number of leases being surrendered for £nil and a small number of property leases remaining to be dealt with. Please note that the surrenders relate to the leases between the landlord and the old House of Fraser company and have nothing to do with Sports Direct Group including the new House of Fraser group. Sports Direct has entered into new leases on the majority of House of Fraser stores.
The EY report relates to an entirely different company. Sports Direct continues to work with landlords across the whole of the remaining House of Fraser estate As a result of this erroneous misreading of the administrator’s report from EY, staff across the HoF group have today woken up to a false sense of job insecuritySports Direct is working rapidly on our ongoing investment programme with the HoF brand and it is therefore totally incorrect to assume that there will be large numbers of store closures in the new year. We are taking legal advice with regards to this unbelievable level of misreporting.”