House of Fraser no more……..?

by Phyllis Stephen

More household names are under threat on our high streets.

The Baugur investment group has applied for bankruptcy protection. So what you may say. But the group includes both House of Fraser and Iceland stores under its banner.

The collapse of the bank Landsbanki has been blamed for this but Baugur hopes that the stores will continue trading. In fact when you dig deeper you realise that they actually are only the major shareholder rather than the outright owner.

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The boss of BHS, Philip Green, has been named as a possible buyer as he is in all of these situations. Is he the only entrepreneur with any money left?

This is just the latest in a long line of shops under threat. If you have just woken up from a long winter hibernation then don’t go looking for Pick ‘n mix in Woolies , dont go to The Pier for your candles…….no DVDs from Zavvis, no coffee or mugs from Whittards, no shoes from Barratts and no new furniture from MFI!

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Have we stopped shopping altogether? It seems that we may have just changed our ways. At the beginning of February, when many people stayed at home because of the snow, online sales increased dramatically.

So there are still people with money to spend. They are still buying – but maybe they are spending their money more wisely?

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And how easy it is to find bargains. High street shops are slashing prices heavily in an effort to lure shoppers away from their computers.