House of Fraser

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House of Fraser Limited
Frasers Limited
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryRetail
GenreDepartment store
FoundedGlasgow, Scotland, UK (1849; 175 years ago (1849))
FounderHugh Fraser
James Arthur
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
29 (20: House Of Fraser) (9: Frasers)
Area served
United Kingdom
ProductsClothing, footwear, cosmetics, jewellery, perfume, toys
RevenueIncrease £363.5 million (2022)
Increase £142.5 million (2022)
Increase £20.657 million (2022)
Number of employees
6,000 direct
11,500 concession
ParentFrasers Group
Websitehouseoffraser.co.uk frasers.com

House of Fraser and Frasers are a British department store chain with 29 locations across the United Kingdom, part of Frasers Group. It was established in Glasgow, Scotland in 1849 as Arthur and Fraser. By 1891, it was known as Fraser & Sons. The company grew steadily during the early 20th century, and after the Second World War a large number of acquisitions transformed the company into a national chain.

From 1936, the company expanded substantially through acquisitions, including Scottish Drapery Corporation (1952), Binns (1953), Barkers of Kensington (1957), Dickins & Jones and the Harrods group (1959), and J J Allen and Colson's (1969). In 1948, the company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange. Later acquisitions included Howells (1972) and Army & Navy Stores (1973).

The group was purchased by the Al Fayed family in 1985 for £615 million, beating out Tiny Rowland for control.[1] By 1993, the management of the group were making attempts to purchase the group from the Al Fayeds, and a floatation was agreed, with the group initially trading separately as House of Fraser Holdings with the Fayed group.[1]

The public float happened in 1995, when it was listed in the FTSE Index as House of Fraser plc, with Harrods moved into the private ownership of the Al Fayeds.

In the 1990s, several stores were closed and fifteen stores transferred to a joint venture with British Land Company, which then continued operating under their old name. The former Harrods group store D H Evans on Oxford Street, London was re-branded as House of Fraser in 2001 and became the chain's flagship store.[2]

In 2005, the group acquired Jenners (£46m), and Beatties (£69m). In 2006, the firm was acquired by a consortium of investors (Highland Group Holdings) including Icelandic based Landsbanki (35%). An online store was launched in 2007. In 2014, the group (as Highland Group Holdings Ltd) was sold to Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co. (Sanpower Group), a leading chain of Chinese department stores for approximately £450 million.[3] In May 2018, the group entered a company voluntary arrangement, and in June the closure of 31 stores was announced. On 10 August 2018, Mike Ashley's Sports Direct chain agreed to buy the business (stores, stock, brand) for £90 million after the chain went into administration earlier that day.

In 2021, a new House of Fraser brand opened in Wolverhampton's Mander Centre named Frasers. A brainchild of Frasers Group owner Mike Ashley, this store is the "Harrods of the High Street".[4] The store comprises several Frasers Group brands: Frasers, Sports Direct, FLANNELS, Evans Cycles, GAME and BELONG.[5] Several former House of Fraser stores have been converted to the Frasers format since the opening of its Wolverhampton flagship. In 2023, Frasers launched its own website, frasers.com, after operating out of House of Fraser's website for two years.

In October 2023, Frasers Group CEO Michael Murray said that House of Fraser would completely convert to the Frasers brand over time, and the House of Fraser brand would disappear from the high street.[6]

History[edit]

House of Fraser on Briggate in Leeds, England
House of Fraser in Belfast, Northern Ireland (now Frasers)

The early years[edit]

The company was founded by Hugh Fraser and James Arthur in 1849 as a small drapery shop on the corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Scotland trading as Arthur and Fraser.[7] Hugh Fraser had been apprenticed to Stewart & McDonald Ltd, a Glasgow drapery warehouse where he eventually rose to the position of warehouse manager. It was from here that he brought many of his new company's initial customers.[7] James Arthur also owned a retail drapery business in Paisley, a Greater Glasgow suburb: he appointed a manager to oversee the Paisley business while he focused on his new business.[7]

The company established a wholesale trade in adjoining premises in Argyle Street. In 1856 the wholesale business moved to a larger site in Miller Street, Glasgow, and started to trade under the name Arthur & Co. The retail side of the business expanded into the vacant buildings left by the wholesale side.[7]

During the late 1850s and early 1860s, the retail business was run by a professional manager – first Thomas Kirkpatrick and then Alexander McLaren.[7] In 1865 the partnership between the partners was dissolved and Fraser assumed control of the retail business leaving Arthur with the wholesale business. In 1865 McLaren joined the retail business and the name was changed to Fraser & McLaren.[7]

Fraser & Sons[edit]

When the first Hugh Fraser died in 1873, his three eldest sons, James, John and Hugh, acquired stakes in the business. James and John Fraser were initially directors in the business and employed Alexander McLaren and later John Towers to manage it for them. In 1891 Hugh also joined the partnership which by then was called Fraser & Sons.[7]

In 1879, the current flagship store on Oxford Street in London was opened by Dan Harries Evans, a 23-year-old from Whitemill in Carmarthenshire, Wales who had previously been apprenticed to a draper in Forest Hamlet near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. He moved to London in 1878 to set up his own business in Westminster Bridge Road. The store traded under the D H Evans name until 2001.[7]

By 1900, Hugh Fraser II was in charge: he incorporated the business as Fraser & Sons Ltd in 1909 and introduced the famous stag's head motif.[7]

After Hugh Fraser II died in 1927, his son Hugh Fraser III, an accountant, became chairman of the business.[7] He opened new departments, enlarged the tearoom, opened a restaurant and also began to look at possible acquisitions.[7] In 1936 he purchased Arnott & Co Ltd and its neighbour Robert Simpson & Sons Ltd in nearby Argyle Street, merging the companies to help improve trade.[7] In 1948 the company, now named House of Fraser, was first listed on the London Stock Exchange.[7]

1950s to 1970s[edit]

The Art Deco Kendals building on Deansgate, Manchester, England – a House of Fraser store since 1959

In 1951, the Company purchased McDonald's Ltd, and with it a branch in Harrogate. Fraser then purchased the Scottish Drapery Corporation in 1952, followed by the Sunderland based Binns group of stores in 1953.[7]

Fraser sold the property sites to insurance companies, leasing them back for long terms at advantageous rates. This enabled the release of capital for the purchase of new premises and the modernisation of existing stores. In 1957, the Kensington store group of John Barker & Co Ltd was acquired and in 1959 Harrods[7] and Dickins & Jones[8] also joined the Group.

Sir Hugh Fraser succeeded his father as chairman of the company when his father died in 1966.[7] Sir Hugh resumed the expansion of the company in 1969 with the takeover of J. J. Allen Ltd, a Bournemouth based group, also including Colson's of Exeter and Brights of Bristol and Bournemouth.[7]

During the 1970s, the House of Fraser Group acquired more companies including T. Baird & Sons Ltd of Scotland, Switzer & Co. Ltd of Dublin, Ireland, and E. Dingle & Co. Ltd, Chiesmans Ltd, Hide & Co and the Army & Navy Stores in southern England, as well as a number of independent stores, totaling over fifty stores during the decade.[7] In 1973, the House of Fraser Group was considering merging with the British pharmacy company Boots, and was even subject to a written answer in the House of Commons.[9] The government decided to block the proposed merger in 1974.[10]

1980–1985[edit]

In 1981, Roland Smith succeeded Sir Hugh Fraser as chairman. A takeover bid by Lonrho was referred to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and declared to be contrary to the public interest.[7] Four new stores opened between 1980 and 1984,[7] including D H Evans in Wood Green, North London in 1980, Dickins & Jones in Milton Keynes in 1981, Frasers in Perth in April 1984, and Army & Navy in Epsom, Surrey in May 1984.[11]

The company, by then House of Fraser PLC, diversified into sports goods under the name of Astral Sports and Leisure (subsequently sold to Sears plc, owned Olympus Sport division) and into funerals with Wylie & Lochhead. It also launched the 'You' range of cosmetics and jewellery shops, and in 1985 acquired Turnbull & Asser Holdings Ltd, shirt makers of Jermyn Street, London and Kurt Geiger Holdings Ltd, shoe retailers.[7] Other developments during the 1980s included the introduction of "Lifestyle" merchandise ranges and a huge investment in store refurbishment nationwide. In 1983 the Company introduced the Frasercard (later renamed Recognition), valid at all stores, and administered from a central facility based in Swindon.[7]

1985–2006: Al Fayed ownership[edit]

In 1985, the Al Fayed family bought the business for £615 million. The Al Fayeds supported the continuing expansion of the company and replaced the stag's head logo with a stag leaping from a green triangle with shop signs of this period using a double-layered sans-serif typeface.[7][12] In 1988, a five-year strategic business plan was announced which saw a rationalisation of stores. Small branches were to be relinquished and replaced with larger units.

In September 1990, two new department stores were opened, a House of Fraser in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield, and Schofields in Leeds. In 1991, a new House of Fraser store was opened at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in West Thurrock, Essex.

In 1994, before House of Fraser PLC was relisted on the London Stock Exchange, Harrods was moved out of the Group so that it could remain under the private ownership of the Al Fayed family.[7] John Coleman, who was appointed chief executive of the House of Fraser Group in 1996, launched the Linea brand in 1997, along with Platinum and Fraser the following year.[7] The House of Fraser logo was revised in 1996 with the leaping stag now going over an "F" shadow and shop signs using a serif typeface.[12] There were many store closures in this period which included the closure or selling off of branches in locations including Sheffield (House of Fraser), Newcastle (Binns), Sunderland (Binns), Bradford (Rackhams) and Leeds (Schofields which had closed only six years after opening although House of Fraser continued to have a presence with their Rackhams (now House of Fraser store) in the city) with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.[13]

House of Fraser set up BL Fraser, a 50–50 joint venture with the British Land Company, in 1999 to buy 15 House of Fraser stores that would continue to be operated by House of Fraser.[14] The Company added to its private-label brands in 2000 with House of Fraser womenswear, The Collection menswear, and a Linea Home.[7]

In 2003, Tom Hunter put forward a hostile bid for the Group, with the possible intention to merge with Allders, another department store in which he had shareholdings.[15] In addition, there was a large reduction in the number of House of Fraser stores in Scotland which included the sell off or closure of branches in Aberdeen (Frasers), Dundee (Arnotts), Inverness (Frasers), Paisley (Arnotts) and Perth (Frasers).

In 2005, the House of Fraser acquired the four Jenners department stores in April for £46m,[16] and Beatties, a mainly Midlands based department store chain of 12 sites, for £69.3m in the summer of 2005.[17] In addition to buying companies, House of Fraser continued its own development programme and opened several more stores including its first store outside the UK (since the disposal of the Switzer business in Ireland in 1991) in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin, Ireland.[18] as well as stores in Maidstone and Norwich.

In 2006, the Company consolidated its portfolio by closing the 135-year-old Barkers business in Kensington High Street on 2 January 2006.[19] and on 14 January 2006, closed its Dickins & Jones store in London's Regent Street following a substantial rent increase.[20] In addition, the Company closed its Birmingham Beatties store in January 2006 (although retained the House of Fraser store in Birmingham).[21]

2006–2014: Highland Group Holdings[edit]

House of Fraser in Broadmead, Bristol in 2006

In February 2006, the Group announced that it had received a preliminary bid approach valuing it at £300 million and, in August 2006, the House of Fraser confirmed a takeover approach from the Highland consortium who acquired the company for £351.4 million in November 2006.[22] Highland Group Holdings Limited was 35% owned by Landsbanki.[23] As part of the Highland takeover all brand names for their stores, including most of the Beatties branches, will be replaced with the House of Fraser name (with the exception of Jenners) with the stag logo axed and a new sans-serif typeface used on shop signs.[24]

In September 2007, House of Fraser launched its online store.[25]

The company had four major openings in 2008, including its first store in Northern Ireland in the newly built Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast in March. At 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) it was the largest store that House of Fraser had opened (as opposed to taken over) in the UK.[26] Also in March 2008, the Company opened a 95,000 sq ft (8,800 m2) store in High Wycombe. On 25 September 2008 the Company opened a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) store in the Cabot Circus development in Bristol,[27] and a branch in Westfield London, a new 70,000 sq ft (6,500 m2) store, on 30 October 2008.[28]

House of Fraser launched the HouseofFraser.com "Buy & Collect" concept shop in October 2011 with its first location in Aberdeen. A further site, in Liverpool, opened in 2012.[29] These small shops were equipped with computer terminals to allow customers to order from the House of Fraser website. Both shops had closed by the summer of 2016.

In December 2013, talks to takeover House of Fraser were held by French department store Galeries Lafayette with House of Fraser also exploring a floating on the London Stock Exchange once more in the summer of 2014 if the takeover was to be abandoned.[30]

2014–2018: Sanpower Group ownership[edit]

In April 2014, it was reported by BBC News that House of Fraser would be sold to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower Group, who would obtain 89% share in the company which would value the business at about £450 million.[31] Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co will buy an 89% stake in Highland Group Holdings Ltd, which owns House of Fraser.[32] The purchase was worth £450 million.[32] Sanpower Group is a 22 per cent shareholder of the Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co.[32] On 2 September 2014. Don McCarthy, retiring Executive Chairman of House of Fraser, announced the completion of the sale of 100% of the preferred ordinary shares and B ordinary shares, and approximately 89% of the A ordinary shares and preference shares of Highland Group Holdings Ltd, to Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store Co, a leading chain of Chinese department stores and part of the Sanpower Group, for an enterprise value of approximately £480 million.[33]

In 2017, a new department store opened at the Rushden Lakes development in Rushden, Northamptonshire. The closure of House of Fraser Outlet in Leicester also took place during the year and a further closure, in Aylesbury, was announced for 2018, however, this never materialised following the acquisition by Sports Direct International. A new store in Chester was announced in February 2017 with construction due to start in mid-2018. It was announced later in 2018 that House of Fraser had pulled out of these plans due to their financial issues.

2018: Administration[edit]

On 2 May 2018, the company announced that it was to be entering into a conditional sale of a controlling stake in the firm to Nanjing Cenbest (another Sanpower Group subsidiary) to Hamleys owner C.banner, another Chinese firm. A condition of the sale that the company streamline its existing store portfolio and cost base was set out. The intention to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was announced on the same day.[34] However, C.banner later pulled out.[35]

Location of closing House of Fraser stores
Location of House of Fraser UK Store Estate and those planned for closure in the announcement on 7 June 2018

On 7 June 2018, the company announced that it would close 31 of its 58 UK stores:[36]

Altrincham • Aylesbury • Birkenhead • Birmingham • Bournemouth • Camberley • Cardiff • Carlisle • Chichester • Cirencester • Cwmbran • Darlington • Doncaster • Edinburgh Frasers • Epsom • Grimsby • High Wycombe • Hull • Leamington Spa • Lincoln • London Oxford Street • London King William Street • Middlesbrough • Milton Keynes • Plymouth • Shrewsbury • Skipton • Swindon • Telford • Wolverhampton • Worcester

This included the flagship Oxford Street branch and the largest store, Birmingham, to be closed by January 2019.[37] Richard Lim of Retail Economics said that it remained "hard to know with any certainty just what will happen next at House of Fraser" but that without any external funding within a matter of weeks it would inevitably fall into administration.[35] Before the intended closures the company employed 6,000 people directly, with another 11,500 employed through concessions.[35] The subsequent administration of the business meant the CVA and associated plans for restructuring (including the previously announced store closures) came to an abrupt end.

2018–present: Sports Direct and Frasers Group PLC[edit]

On 10 August 2018, House of Fraser entered administration. Later that day, Sports Direct International (now Frasers Group) agreed to buy the assets of the business – the House of Fraser stores, brand and the stock – for £90 million in cash on a pre-packaged insolvency basis.[38] Soon after the acquisition, many store closures were announced including the previously safe Manchester store, as well as Nottingham, Lakeside, Gateshead and Norwich, among others.[39] However, after months of negotiations, almost all stores were saved, with the exception of the branch in Shrewsbury,[40] Cirencester,[41] Edinburgh Frasers,[42] Chichester[43] and London King William Street,[44] all of which closed during December 2018 and January 2019.

In October 2018, Frasers Group plc purchased the Frasers building in Glasgow for £95 million and pledged to restore the building to its former condition.[45]

On 14 June 2019, it was confirmed that the store in Hull, which nearly closed in December, would close in Summer 2019 as a result of failing to agree on redevelopments to the site.[46]

On 26 July 2019, it was reported that Sports Direct had received a £605 million bill from the Belgian tax authorities. The retailer rebutted the claims and the matter was resolved in January 2020.[47] Sports Direct described the problems at House of Fraser as "nothing short of terminal". The cost of keeping the group running had been £51 million at that time. Its owner said there would be further store closures and added that there were a number of stores that, despite paying no rent, were still unprofitable.[48] Sports Direct's CEO, Mike Ashley, attributed the collapse of House of Fraser to the "incompetence of previous management".[49]

In the Frasers Group plc interim results in December 2019, the group noted it was starting to see signs of recovery as it continued to integrate the business into the Group and bring new disciplines, experience, and skills to bear which were helping the turnaround.[50] The group also noted that the Frasers strategy is to create a superior shopping experience for the consumer which will be led by the original Frasers in Glasgow.

On 29 September 2021, the company stated that of the original 59 stores House of Fraser operated at the time of administration, 43 were still open. In November 2021, it was announced that House of Fraser had been given notice of eviction at their Oxford Street store by the landlord, who were going to redevelop the building into a mix of office, retail and leisure. The store would close in January 2022, which along with other store closures would see the chain drop to 41 stores.[51]

Current branches[edit]

  • Aylesbury, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005)
  • Balloch, Loch Lomond Shores, Frasers (formerly Jenners; acquired 2005)
  • Bath, Jollys (acquired 1971)[52]
  • Belfast, Frasers (formerly House of Fraser; opened 2008)
  • Blackpool, Frasers (opened 22 November 2023 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Bluewater, House of Fraser (opened 1999)
  • Bristol, House of Fraser (opened 2008)
  • Carlisle, House of Fraser (formerly Binns, and originally Robinson Brothers; acquired 1953)[52]
  • Cheltenham, Cavendish House (acquired 1969, closing April 2024)[52][53]
  • Cork, Mahon Point, Frasers (opened 3 November 2022 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)[54]
  • Croydon, House of Fraser (opened 2004)
  • Darlington, House of Fraser (formerly Binns, originally Arthur Sanders; acquired 1953)[52]
  • Derby, Frasers (opened 3 December 2022 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Derry, Frasers (opened 3 September 2021 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Dundee, Frasers (opening 2024 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Glasgow, Frasers (formerly McDonalds, Wylie & Lochhead and originally the separate stores of McDonalds and Wylie & Lochhead; acquired 1951 and 1957 respectively)[52]
  • Lincoln, House of Fraser (formerly Binns, and originally Mawer & Collingham; acquired 1980)[52]
  • Maidstone, House of Fraser (opened 2005, becoming Frasers in October 2024)[55]
  • Manchester, House of Fraser (formerly Kendals / Kendal Milne & Co.; acquired 1959)[52]
  • Middlesbrough, Frasers (opened 2021 in premises previously occupied by Psyche and originally Uptons)
  • Newbridge, Frasers (opened 18 October 2022 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Norwich, Frasers (formerly House of Fraser; opened 2005)
  • Nottingham, House of Fraser (opened 1997)
  • Peterborough, Frasers (opening 2025 in premises previously occupied by John Lewis & Partners)[56]
  • Plymouth, House of Fraser (formerly Dingles / E Dingle & Co.; acquired 1971)[52]
  • Rushden, Rushden Lakes, Frasers (formerly House of Fraser; opened 2017)
  • Sutton Coldfield, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005)
  • Telford, Frasers (formerly House of Fraser and originally Beatties; acquired 2005)
  • Wolverhampton, Frasers (opened 12 April 2021 in premises previously occupied by Debenhams)
  • Worcester, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005)

Outlet/clearance stores:

  • Birmingham, House of Fraser Outlet (formerly House of Fraser and originally Rackhams; acquired 1959; renamed House of Fraser in 2003)[52][57][58]
  • Doncaster, House of Fraser Outlet (formerly Binns, prior to that Owen Owen and originally Verity & Sons; acquired 1976)[52]

Frasers[edit]

It was reported in the press in May 2019 that Mike Ashley planned to open a new group of department stores under the Frasers nameplate. This group would have been positioned at the luxury end of the market with a focus on brands, experiences, and services. The project was led by Michael Murray, the group's Head of Elevation.[59][60] The original Frasers store in Glasgow was planned to become the flagship of the group with a number of existing House of Fraser stores converted to the Frasers format. It was announced that House of Fraser Meadowhall and House of Fraser Belfast would each receive significant investment to become Frasers stores.[61] New Frasers stores would have opened in Liverpool and Wolverhampton. The Wolverhampton opening was announced on 3 October 2019, a new 94,000 sq ft store in premises due to be vacated by Debenhams. The closure of House of Fraser's 376,000 sq ft Beatties store in the city was confirmed at the same time.

Future closures[edit]

The House of Fraser store in Lincoln is scheduled for permanent closure (as of April 2021). In addition to the confirmed closures many of House of Fraser's landlords are currently exploring alternative uses for sites occupied by the group. These include department stores in Bath (Jollys), Birmingham, Guildford, Manchester, Plymouth and Reading.

Former brands and branches[edit]

Former regional groups[edit]

House of Fraser previously traded under many different, long established brand names. A number of regional groups of stores were acquired and subsequently extended or amalgamated. The Arnotts and Frasers groups were created by House of Fraser from scratch. These key groups, together with the flagship store of each one, and the regions to which they are largely associated are:

Former non department store businesses[edit]

House of Fraser owned several other retail businesses that were not department stores. In 1941, Fraser's purchased the furniture retailer Muir Simpson of Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow,[62] while J & A Ogilvie Ltd was added in 1966 after the purchase of Wylie and Lochhead.[63] Another business that was gained by purchasing Wylie and Lochhead was funeral directors, which were grown by further purchases.[64][65][66] The company also owned clothing manufacturers Nithco Manufacturing,[67] Arthur & Co,[68] and John Kirsop & Son.[69] They also operated clothing stores including:

  • Carswell (The Modern Man's Shop)[70]
  • Cochranes Stores[71]
  • McLaren & Son[72]
  • Forresters[73]
  • Kings Fashions[74]
  • Logie & Co.[75]
  • Maryon Fashion Group (after purchase of J J Allen)[76]
  • Chanelle(after purchase of J J Allen)[76]

In the 1980s it created the brand YOU jewellery & cosmetic stores, purchased the shoe retailer Kurt Geiger, tailors Turnbull & Asser, Hawes & Curtis and James Drew,[77] in addition to growing its sports chain Astral Sports which it had purchased in 1978.[78][79][80]

Former branches[edit]

The closed House of Fraser store on Oxford Street in London during October 2022

Over the years, the following department stores have closed and no longer trade as part of the company.

  • Aberdeen, Arnotts (formerly Isaac Benzie; acquired 1955; closed 1986. The store was at 143-167 George Street)[81]
  • Aberdeen, Frasers (formerly Falconers / John Falconer; acquired 1952; closed 2002. The store was at 57-67 Union Street)[82][52][83]
  • Aberdeen, A & R Milne (booksellers and stationers; acquired 1952 as a subsidiary of Watt & Grant. In 1966 the business was amalgamated with Wyllies and the former A & R Milne premises absorbed into the main Watt & Grant store. The shop was at 229 Union Street)[84][83]
  • Aberdeen, Reid & Pearson (acquired 1952; closed 12 May 1973. The store was at 61-65 St Nicholas Street)[85][83]
  • Aberdeen, R J Smith (acquired 1981; purchased to secure the premises at 7-9 Market Street for redevelopment and the planned expansion of Frasers onto the site)[86]
  • Aberdeen, Watt & Grant (acquired 1952; closed 28 November 1981. The store was at 221-229 Union Street)[87]
  • Aberdeen, Watt & Grant Bookshop (formerly A & R Milne & Wyllies and originally Wyllies / D Wyllie & Son; acquired 1966; closed 29 March 1986. The shop was at 247-251 Union Street)
  • Aberdeen, Watt & Milne (acquired 1955; closed 1966. Following closure the premises were converted to Young World, an outlet of Watt & Grant devoted to children. This business was moved into the main Watt & Grant store in 1968. The store was at 166-172 Union Street)[88][89]
  • Aldershot, Army & Navy (formerly Thomas White; acquired 1973)[90]
  • Altrincham, Rackhams (formerly Brown Muff; opened 1978; closed 31 August 2020)[91][52]
  • Arbroath, Arnotts (formerly James Soutar & Sons; acquired 1975; closed 1986. The store was at 104-108 High Street)[92]
  • Aviemore, Arnotts (closed 1986)
  • Basildon, Army & Navy (formerly Taylors; acquired 1979)[93][52]
  • Bath, Cavendish House (acquired 1969; amalgamated with Jolly & Son)[94]
  • Belfast, Bank Buildings (Robertson Ledlie Ferguson & Co.; acquired 1969; closed 1979)[95]
  • Bingley, Brown Muff (formerly Pratts; acquired 1977)[96]
  • Birkenhead, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties, and originally Allansons; acquired 2005; closed 25 March 2020)[97]
  • Birmingham, Beatties (formerly the Birmingham branch of C & A; acquired 2005; closed 2006)[98]
  • Blackpool, Binns (formerly R H O Hills; acquired 1975; closed 1987)[99][52]
  • Bournemouth, Dingles (formerly J J Allen; acquired 1969; closed 1981)[100][52]
  • Bournemouth, House of Fraser (formerly Dingles, and originally Brights; acquired 1969; closed 2022)[52]
  • Bradford, Rackhams (formerly Brown Muff / Brown, Muff & Co.; acquired 1977; closed 1995)[91][52]
  • Bridlington, Binns (formerly Hammonds, and originally Carltons; acquired 1972; closed 1995)[101][52]
  • Brigg, Binns (formerly Lacey & Clark; acquired 1969. The store was at 25 Market Place)[102]
  • Bristol, Dingles (formerly Brights, prior to that the Bristol branch of Bobby & Co., and originally John Cordeux & Sons; acquired 1969; renamed Dingles 2 September 1974; closed 15 January 2000)[103][52]
  • Bristol, House of Fraser (opened 2001 in premises previously occupied by Bentalls, prior to that John Lewis, and originally Lewis's; closed 2008 on relocation to Cabot Circus)[104]
  • Bristol, Jollys (acquired 1971; closed 1977. The store was at 62-66 Whiteladies Road, Clifton)[94]
  • Bromley, Army & Navy (formerly Harrison Gibson; acquired 1973; closed 2004. The store was at 64 High Street)[105][52]
  • Burton upon Trent, Beatties (acquired 2005, closed 29 September 2012)[106]
  • Cardiff, House of Fraser (formerly Howells / James Howell & Co.; acquired 1972; closed 2023)[52][107]
  • Cardiff, Seccombes (acquired 1975)[108]
  • Chichester, House of Fraser (formerly Army & Navy, and originally J D Morant; acquired 1973; closed 26 January 2019)[109][52]
  • Cirencester, House of Fraser (formerly Rackhams, and originally Frederick Boulton & Sons; acquired 1975; closed 5 January 2019)[110][52]
  • Coatbridge, Arnotts (formerly Bairds and originally James B Henderson; acquired 1970)[111]
  • Cork, Munster Arcade (Robertson Ledlie Ferguson & Co.; acquired 1969; closed 1979)[112]
  • Crouch End, James H Wilson (acquired 1975)[113]
  • Cumbernauld, Arnotts (opened 1975 in premises previously occupied by a branch of Bows of Glasgow; closed 1978)[114]
  • Cwmbran, House of Fraser (formerly David Evans; acquired 1977, closed 29 June 2022)[52]
  • Dingwall, Arnotts (opened 1974 in premises formerly occupied by C & J Urquhart. The store was at 4 High Street)[115]
  • Doncaster, Brown Muff (acquired 1977)[91]
  • Doncaster, House of Fraser Outlet (formerly Binns, previously Owen Owen and originally Verity & Sons; acquired 1976)[116][117]
  • Dorchester, Dingles (formerly Army & Navy, and originally Genge & Co.; acquired 1973)[118][119][52]
  • Drumchapel, Arnotts (formerly Bairds and originally Hendersons; acquired 1970)[111]
  • Dudley, Beatties (acquired 2005; closed 2010)[120]
  • Dumfries, Binns (formerly Robinson Brothers and originally William Munro; acquired 1953; closed 1990)[121][52]
  • Dundee, Arnotts (formerly D M Brown; acquired 1952; closed 2002)[122][123][52]
  • Dundee, Alexander Ewing & Co. (acquired 1941)[124]
  • Dundrum, House of Fraser (opened 2005; closed 2020)[125]
  • Eastbourne, Army & Navy (formerly Barkers, and originally Dale & Kerley; acquired 1957; closed 1997)[126][52]
  • East Kilbride, Arnotts (formerly Bairds and originally Hendersons; acquired 1970; closed 30 July 1988)[111][52]
  • Edinburgh, Peter Allan (acquired 1940; closed 1970. The store was at 100-106 South Bridge)[127]
  • Edinburgh, North Bridge, Arnotts (formerly Patrick Thomson; acquired 1952; closed 1982. The store was at 3-29 North Bridge)[128]
  • Edinburgh, South Bridge, Arnotts (formerly J & R Allan; acquired 1952; closed 1976. The store was at 74-87 South Bridge)[83]
  • Edinburgh, J D Blair & Son (acquired 1952; closed 1968. The store was at 1-11 & 37-41 Nicholson Street, Newington)[129][83]
  • Edinburgh, Darlings / Darling & Co. (acquired 1961; closed 1971 with the business incorporated into Smalls. The store was at 124-125 Princes Street)
  • Edinburgh, Frasers (formerly Binns, and originally Robert Maule & Son; acquired 1953; closed 10 November 2018. The store was at 144-147 Princes Street)[52]
  • Edinburgh, Jenners (acquired 2005, closed 2021. The store was at 47-52 Princes Street)[130]
  • Edinburgh, Smalls / William Small & Son (acquired 1946; closed 1977. The store was at 104-106 Princes Street)[131]
  • Elgin, Arnotts (formerly Benzie & Miller, and originally A L Ramsay & Son; acquired 1958; closed 1987)[52]
  • Epsom, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, and originally Reids / H L Reid & Co.; acquired 1975; closed 1984)[52]
  • Epsom, House of Fraser (formerly Dickins & Jones and originally Army & Navy; opened 1984; closed 2022)[132]
  • Evesham, Rackhams (formerly Rightons; acquired 1975) [133]
  • Exeter, House of Fraser (formerly Dingles, and originally Colsons; acquired 1969; closed 2 November 2019)[52]
  • Falkirk, Arnotts (formerly Bairds and originally Hendersons; acquired 1970; closed 1988)[52]
  • Falmouth, Dingles (formerly Cox & Horder; acquired 1971; closed 3 July 1988)[52]
  • Fraserburgh, Benzie & Miller (acquired 1958; closed 1968)[134]
  • Gateshead, MetroCentre, House of Fraser (opened 1986; closed September 2021)[135]
  • Glasgow, Argyle Street, Arnotts (formerly Arnott Simpson, and originally the separate stores of Arnott & Co. and Robert Simpson & Sons; both businesses acquired 1936; closed 26 February 1994)
  • Glasgow, Sauchiehall Street Centre, Arnotts (opened 18 October 1977, originally co-located with Dalys, Arnotts occupied Ground Floor and Basement, with Dalys occupying First, Second and Third Floors. Arnotts closed in 1979 and Dalys expanded to take over their space. Dalys was itself renamed Arnotts in September 1982 and the store completely reorganised to include a broader range of departments; closed 25 January 1986)[136]
  • Glasgow, Colosseum (formerly Dallas's Colosseum and originally Walter Wilson & Co. The Colosseum Warehouse; acquired 1942; closed 31 January 1967)
  • Glasgow, Copland & Lye[137][138]
  • Glasgow, Dallas's (acquired 1942)[139]
  • Glasgow, Dalys / Daly & Sons (acquired 1952)[83]
  • Glasgow, Duncans (amalgamated with Wood & Selby; closed 1968)[140]
  • Glasgow, Fraser, Sons & Co. (established 1849; closed 1975; business transferred to McDonald's Wylie & Lochhead store opposite)[52]
  • Glasgow, Muir Simpsons (acquired 1941)
  • Glasgow, Thomas Muirhead & Co. (acquired 1937)
  • Glasgow, Pettigrew & Stephens (acquired 1952; closed 1974)[141]
  • Glasgow, Southlands (closed 1968. The store was at Shawlands Cross)
  • Glasgow, Wood & Selby (closed 1968)[142]
  • Gravesend, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans and originally Bon Marche; acquired 1975; closed 1994)[52][143]
  • Greenock, Arnotts
  • Greenock, Prentices / D & A Prentice (acquired 1944)[144]
  • Greenock, Shannons / J & S Shannon (acquired 1952)[52][83]
  • Grimsby, House of Fraser (formerly Binns, and originally Guy & Smith; acquired 1969; closed 2020)[52]
  • Guildford, House of Fraser (formerly Army & Navy, and originally William Harvey; acquired 1973; closed 30 September 2023)
  • Harrogate, Binns (formerly McDonalds and originally Edward J Clarke; acquired 1951; closed 1987. The store was at 10-14 James Street)[52]
  • Harrogate, Schofields (formerly a branch of Cresta House and originally the Harrogate branch of Marshall & Snelgrove; acquired 1988; closed 1989. The store was at 28-32 James Street)[145]
  • Helston, Dingles (formerly B Thomas; acquired 1971; closed 3 July 1988)[52]
  • High Wycombe, House of Fraser (opened 13 March 2008; closed 12 January 2023)[146]
  • Hove, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, prior to that Stuart Norris and originally Driscolls; acquired 1975; closed 1990)[52]
  • Huddersfield, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005, closed 29 August 2022)[147]
  • Hull, House of Fraser (formerly Hammonds; acquired 1972; closed 4 August 2019)[148]
  • Ilford, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans and originally Burnes; acquired 1975)[143][149]
  • Inverness, Arnotts (formerly Benzie & Miller, and originally Young & Chapman; acquired 1958; closed 2003)[52][134]
  • Islington, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans and originally T R Roberts; acquired 1975)[150]
  • Kensington, Barkers / John Barker & Co. (acquired 1957; closed 2006)[52]
  • Kensington, Derry & Toms (acquired 1957; closed 1973)[151]
  • Kensington, Pontings / Ponting Brothers (acquired 1957; closed 1970)[152]
  • Kilmarnock, Arnotts (formerly Frasers and originally Hugh Lauder & Co.; acquired 1972; closed 1987. The store was at 45-55 King Street)[52]
  • Kingston upon Thames, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, Hide & Co., and originally Shrubsoles; acquired 1975; closed 1987. The store was at 7-9 Market Place)[52][153]
  • Kingston upon Thames, Barkers (opened 1959 in premises previously occupied by Zeeta. The store was at 37 Thames Street)[154][155]
  • Kirkcaldy, Arnotts (formerly Sutters; closed 1988)[52]
  • Leeds, Schofields (acquired 1988; closed 1996)[145]
  • Leeds, House of Fraser (formerly Rackhams, prior to that the temporary premises of Schofields, and originally the Leeds branch of Woolworths; acquired 1988; closed 2023)[52][156]
  • Leicester, Hotel Street and Market Street, Rackhams (formerly Morgan Squire, acquired 1969; closed 31 October 1987)[157]
  • Leicester, Highcross / The Shires, House of Fraser Outlet (formerly Rackhams, opened 1991; closed 2017)[52]
  • Lewisham, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans; acquired 1975; closed 1994)[52][143]
  • Liverpool, Binns (formerly Hendersons / William Henderson & Sons; acquired 1959)[158]
  • Liverpool, House of Fraser.com (opened 2011; closed 2013)[159]
  • London, King William Street, House of Fraser (opened 2003; closed 29 December 2018)[160]
  • London, Oxford Street, House of Fraser (formerly D H Evans; acquired 1959; closed 2022)[52]
  • London, Regent Street, Dickins & Jones (acquired 1959; closed 2006)[161]
  • London, Victoria Street, House of Fraser (formerly Army & Navy / Army & Navy Stores; acquired 1973, closed July 2022)[52]
  • London, White City, Westfield London, House of Fraser (opened 2008; closed 2023)[162]
  • Maidstone, Army & Navy (formerly T C Dunning & Son; acquired 1975; renamed Army & Navy 1976; closed 2005. The store was at 69-77 Week Street)[52]
  • Maidstone, Chiesmans (formerly Denniss Paine; acquired 1975; closed 1984)[143]
  • Manchester, Kendal Milne (furniture building closed 1981)
  • Milton Keynes, House of Fraser (formerly Dickins & Jones; opened 1981; closed 1 February 2020)[163][161]
  • Middlesbrough, House of Fraser (formerly Binns and originally Thomas Jones; acquired 1953; closed 2022)[164]
  • Motherwell, Arnotts (formerly Bairds; acquired 1970)[111]
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, Binns (formerly James Coxon; acquired 1953; closed 1994)[52]
  • Newport, Isle of Wight, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, and originally Morris / Edward Morris; acquired 1975; closed 1987)[52][143]
  • Newquay, Dingles (formerly Hawke & Thomas; acquired 1971; closed 1983)[165]
  • Newton Abbot, Dingles (formerly William Badcock & Son; acquired 1971; closed 1988)[52]
  • Newton Abbot, J F Rockhey (formerly John Mackenzie; acquired 1959)[166]
  • Newton Abbot, Henry Warren & Son (acquired 1971)[165]
  • Northampton, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005; closed 2014)[167][168]
  • Oswestry, Rackhams (formerly Bradleys; acquired 1975)[169]
  • Oxford, Webbers[170]
  • Paisley, Arnotts (formerly Robert Cochran & Son; closed 2003)[171][52]
  • Paisley, Fraser & Love[172]
  • Penzance, Dingles (formerly John Polglase; acquired 1971; closed 3 July 1988)[52]
  • Perth, Frasers (opened 1984 on the site of Wallaces main building and other property; closed 2002; purchased by Debenhams)[173]
  • Perth, Gordon & Stanfield (acquired 1941. The store was at 32 South Methven Street)[174]
  • Perth, Wallaces / D A Wallace & Co. (acquired 1946)[175]
  • Peterhead, Arnotts (previously Benzie & Miller; acquired 1958; destroyed by fire in 1977 and not reopened. The store was at 2-8 Marischal Street)[134]
  • Port Glasgow, Bairds (acquired 1970)
  • Port Talbot, David Evans (formerly W J Williams)[176]
  • Portsmouth, John Anstiss (acquired 1975) [126]
  • Reading, House of Fraser (opened in the Oracle shopping centre in 1999; closed October 2023)[177]
  • Richmond, House of Fraser (formerly Dickins & Jones; opened 1970 on site of Gosling & Sons, acquired 1957; closed September 2020)[178][179]
  • Richmond, Wright Brothers (acquired 1975; sold to Owen Owen in 1976 as part of a deal which saw House of Fraser acquire Owen Owen's Doncaster store)[180][181]
  • Rochester, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, and originally Leonards; acquired 1975)[143]
  • Leamington Spa, House of Fraser (formerly Rackhams, prior to that Army & Navy, and originally Burgis & Colbourne; acquired 1973)[52]
  • St Albans, Army & Navy (formerly W S Green; acquired 1973)[182]
  • Salisbury, Dingles (formerly Blooms)[183][114]
  • Salisbury, Dingles (formerly Clark & Lonnen; acquired 1975; closed 1988)[52]
  • Scunthorpe, Binns (opened 1974; closed 1997)[52]
  • Sheffield, House of Fraser (formerly Rackhams, and originally Walshs / John Walsh; acquired 1959; closed 1997)[52]
  • Sheffield, Meadowhall, House of Fraser (opened 1990; closed 2021)[184]
  • Shotts, Arnotts (formerly Bairds; acquired 1970)[111]
  • Shrewsbury, Grocott & Co.(amalgamated with Joseph Della Porta) [185]
  • Shrewsbury, House of Fraser (formerly Rackhams, and originally Joseph Della Porta; acquired 1975; closed 12 January 2019)[52]
  • Skipton, Rackhams (formerly Brown Muff, and originally Amblers; acquired 1977, closed 6 December 2019)[91][52]
  • Solihull, House of Fraser (formerly Beatties; acquired 2005, closed 28, August 2023)
  • Southend-on-Sea, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, and prior to that the Southend branch of J R Roberts Stores; acquired 1975)[186]
  • Southport, Binns (formerly Alexanders; acquired 1975)[187]
  • South Shields, Binns (formerly Fowler & Brock; acquired 1953; closed 1995)[52]
  • Sunderland, Binns (acquired 1953; closed 1993)[52]
  • Swansea, David Evans (acquired 1977; closed 2005)[52]
  • Swindon, House of Fraser Outlet (formerly House of Fraser; opened 1996; closed November 2021)[188]
  • Torquay, Dingles (formerly J F Rockhey; acquired 1959; closed 30 July 1988)[52]
  • Trowbridge, Dingles (formerly Fear Hill; closed 1988)[52]
  • Truro, Dingles (formerly Criddle & Smith; acquired 1971; closed 3 October 1987))[52]
  • Tunbridge Wells, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans and originally Waymarks; acquired 1975; closed 1988)[52][143]
  • Upton Park, Army & Navy (formerly Chiesmans, and originally John Lewis; acquired 1975. The store was at 346-352 Green Street)[143]
  • Waterford, Robertson Ledlie Ferguson & Co. (acquired 1969; closed 1979)[112]
  • Wells, Dingles (formerly Fear Hill, and originally J N Button)[189][190]
  • West Hartlepool, Binns (formerly Gray Peverell; acquired 1953; closed 1992)[191]
  • West Thurrock, Lakeside, House of Fraser (opened 1990, closed January 2024)[192]
  • Whifflet, Arnotts (formerly Bairds and prior to that a branch of James B Henderson of Coatbridge; acquired 1970)[111]
  • Wishaw, Arnotts (formerly Bairds / T Baird & Sons; acquired 1970; closed 1989)[111][52]
  • Wolverhampton, Beatties (acquired 2005; closed 2020)
  • Wolverhampton, Rackhams (formerly Army & Navy, and originally Thomas Clarkson & Sons; acquired 1973; closed 1992)[52]
  • Wood Green, A Barton & Co. (acquired 1975)[52]
  • Wood Green, D H Evans (opened 1980)[193]
  • Yeovil, Dingles (formerly Gamis's; acquired 1975; closed 1987)[52]

The following department stores were demerged or sold as going concerns:

  • Airdrie, Arnotts (formerly Bairds; acquired 1970; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, set up as part of a management buyout led by Murdoch McMaster, after which the name of the store reverted to Bairds)[111][52][194]
  • Ayr, Arnotts (formerly David Hourston & Sons; acquired 1949; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store reverted to Hourstons)[194][195]
  • Banff, Arnotts (formerly Benzie & Miller and originally J Rankine & Co.; acquired 1958; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store reverted to Benzies)[196][134][52][194]
  • Bellshill, Arnotts (formerly Bairds; acquired 1970; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store reverted to Bairds)[194][52]
  • Copenhagen, A C Illum (acquired 1972; sold 1987)[197]
  • Cork, Cash's (sold in 1990 to Brown Thomas)[198]
  • Dublin, Switzer & Co. (sold in 1990 to Brown Thomas)[198]
  • Galway, Moons (sold in 1990 to Brown Thomas)[198]
  • Hamilton, Arnotts (formerly Bairds; acquired 1970; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store reverted to Bairds)[199][200][194]
  • Irvine, Arnotts (opened 2 October 1975; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store was changed to Hourstons)[52][194]
  • Knightsbridge, London, Harrods (acquired 1959; demerged from House of Fraser in 1994)
  • Limerick, Todds (sold in 1990 to Brown Thomas)[198]
  • Stirling, Frasers (formerly McLachlan & Brown; acquired 1946; sold in 1989 to McMaster Stores, after which the name of the store reverted to McLachlan & Brown)[194]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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