House of Fraser website offline amid reported delivery 'wrangle'

Jeannie Matthews
August 20, 2018

We were all shocked to hear that the lovable House of Fraser could be closing its Dundrum doors.

House of Fraser's concessionaires and suppliers are collectively owed at least £70 million in payments relating to sales in June and July.

This week Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley said he aimed to keep 80% of House of Fraser stores open, but the company reportedly wrote to more than 1,000 of the department store group's suppliers, including XPO, to say it will not cover money owed before Friday's "pre-pack" acquisition from the administrators.

"All customers affected will receive an email in the next couple of days".

Beleaguered British department store House of Fraser is cancelling all online orders and will be refunding thousands of customers potentially millions of pounds after a dispute with its warehouse operator held up deliveries.

As a result, the retailer has cancelled all online orders and is refunding customers.

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House of Fraser originally said in June that 31 of its 59 stores were closing down but that Dundrum would be safe. "Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused".

House of Fraser's website was taken offline on Wednesday amid the payment dispute with XPO Logistics, which operates two warehouses, in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, that handle the retailer's deliveries to stores as well as customers.

"Some of the biggest brands are in a "Mexican standoff" with Mike Ashley over debt, sources said".

In an effort to force the issue, some suppliers, believed to include fashion brand Karen Millen, Jigsaw and Whistles have now withdrawn unsold stock which was not party to the takeover agreement signed by Ashley. "The stores are failing to attract sustainable levels of footfall while battling against rising operating costs and shifts in shopper behaviour".

XPO has halted work as it tries to convince Sports Direct to honour existing contract terms.

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