British department store group House of Fraser plans on shutting 31 of its 59 stores as part of an effort to save the chain in a rescue deal.
The closures are expected to affect around 6,000 jobs.
Alex Williamson, chief executive of House of Fraser, said: “Today’s announcement is one of the most important in this company’s 169-year history. We, as a management team, have a responsibility to take necessary steps to ensure House of Fraser’s survival, which is why we are making these proposals.
“We are fully committed to supporting those personally affected by the proposals.”
House of Fraser is trying to secure a rescue plan with landlords and other creditors.
The chain has suffered from the drastic drop in high street footfall as consumers opt for online shopping instead.
The retail industry is going through a “fundamental change” and the company “urgently needs to adapt,” said House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin.
“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,” Slevin said.
Among the stores that will be closed is the store’s flagship Oxford Street shop in London.
A full list of House of Fraser stores that will close:
- Edinburgh Frasers
- High Wycombe
- Leamington Spa
- London Oxford Street
- London King William Street
- Milton Keynes