Jun 7, 2018

Bleak day for UK high streets as 13,000 jobs put at risk

Britain's retail woes deepened on Thursday as department store group House of Fraser and discounter Poundworld announced moves that threatened to leave hundreds of shops vacant and put more than 13,000 jobs at risk. House of Fraser filed proposals for restructuring that would close 31 of its UK stores, setting the stage for a battle with its landlords and creditors. The setbacks are the latest in a series of blows for UK retailers, many of which are trapped in long store leases and have been hurt by rising wage costs and local taxes, more cautious consumers and a growing shift to online shopping. The potential closures will add to the debate about how high streets should be used in an era where shops need less physical space. House of Fraser stores scheduled for closure include the chain's London flagship on Oxford Street, as well as Howells in Cardiff and Frasers in Edinburgh.

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