Camberley residents petition House of Fraser to keep town centre store open

June 13, 2018
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More than 400 people have signed a petition calling for House of Fraser to keep its Camberley store open.

The branch is one of 31 House of Fraser stores closing across the UK as the retailer tries to restructure in the face of falling profits.

The petition, started on Change.org by resident Janey Finch on Tuesday (June 12), describes the Camberley store as ‘a main feature of our town centre’ and says Camberley ‘will be nothing without it’.

Within half a day of going online, the petition had attracted 400 supporters.

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Trouble on the high street

One, Alisa Whiteland, commented that it was ‘the only decent shop left in Camberley’.

Another supporter, Hollie Everist, said: “This store is my family. I’ve worked there for eight years. I don’t want to see my store go.”

After the planned closure was announced, Surrey Heath Borough Council leader Moira Gibson and chief executive Karen Whelan said the store had suffered from ‘underinvestment’.

They said: “Whilst being disappointed by the news, because Surrey Heath is in control of the freehold of this site, like other sites we have bought, it enables us to continue our regeneration proposals by being able to move forward more flexibly and agilely with solutions.

“Our concern is for the staff, many of whom are local, loyal and dedicated people who have also invested in the town centre.”

House of Fraser in The Square, Camberley is due to close as the business fights for its survival.
(Image: Grahame Larter/Surrey Advertiser)

House of Fraser announced it planned to close more than half of its 59 UK stores on June 7 when it revealed details of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), a device which allows struggling firms to negotiate branch closures and rent reductions.

The CVA was a condition of a takeover by Chinese group C.banner, which has agreed to buy a 51% stake in House of Fraser.

A spokesman for House of Fraser said the retailer ‘does not have a future’ without the restructure.

Chairman of House of Fraser Frank Slevin said: “The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive.

“Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base, which without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business.

“So whilst closing stores is a very difficult decision, especially given the length of relationship House of Fraser has with all its locations, there should be no doubt that it is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive.”

A 17-day consultation on the closures ends on June 23. During this period, the stores will remain trading as normal.

Around 6,000 jobs across the country are at risk, including 2,000 House of Fraser employees and 4,000 brand and concession staff members.

In Surrey, the Epsom branch is also set to close while the landmark Guildford store has been spared the axe.

If you want to sign the petition, you can find it here .

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/camberley-residents-petition-house-fraser-14778434


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