China set to be in House of Fraser’s hand

Mike Ashley
Mike Ashley
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House of Fraser could nearly double its number of stores with plans to open up to 50 branches in China following its takeover by a Nanjing-based conglomerate.

The department store chain, which was valued at £480m by the deal, currently has 60 sites in the UK and Ireland and new owners Sanpower plan to exploit what it calls the “iconic heritage brand” with a programme of international expansion.

However, it is not known whether the name House of Fraser will be used at all the stores, with the possibility that some might use another name. One of those being considered is ‘Oriental Fraser’.

A source close to the deal confirmed the chain would now be opening stores in China over the next few years, with 50 as a target.

Sanpower chairman Yuan Yafei said: “House of Fraser is a strong and iconic heritage brand in the UK and abroad, with exceptional fashion credentials.

“We see significant opportunities to develop the business further and replicate the already successful model in international markets.” Announcing the deal at the weekend, he talked of plans to “unlock House of Fraser’s potential to become a leading global brand”.

Sanpower has purchased an 89 per cent stake in the 165-year-old business. The deal is expected to complete in about four months.

The announcement comes after Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley bought an 11 per cent stake in the business in a last-minute attempt to muscle in on the deal.