The final closure of fashion chain East and the ultimate complete closure of Toys R along with renewed speculations about the prospect of House of Fraser has created and environment in London high street where there is an anticipation of a wave loss of jobs.
Toys R Us has been operational for almost three decades in the U.K. and that chapter in the industry came to an end on Tuesday after the final closure and downing of shutters of a handful of the remaining stores of the U.S. company which were still operational. One of the most well know toy chain stores which boasted of 3,200 staff and over 100 stores was sent to administration in the U.S. ion February this year. Attempts to get a buyer for the chain by the restructuring company Moorfields resulted in failure.
East, with its 50 stores had collapsed in January primarily because of tough trading conditions. similar to the case of Toys R Us, no buyer could be found by FRP Advisory, its restructuring company. this closure is likely to result in job losses for about 341 employees.
An FRP Advisory spokesperson said: “After exploring opportunities to agree a sale of all or parts of the business, we have been unable to secure a buyer to date.
“Currently, East Lifestyle Limited is due to cease trading on 4 May, with all employees being made redundant.”
Talks with a Chinese business group, C.banner International Holdings that is the owner of the toy chain Hamleys is the company that the House of Fraser’s parent company, Sanpoweer was I n talks with for selling off of a majority stake, confirmed the House of Fraser on Tuesday. Announcement of talks to sell a 15 per cent stake in House of Fraser to a Chinese leisure group Wuji Wenhua, was announced by the Sanpower subsidiary that owns the House of Fraser. Last month.
In 2014, Nanjing Cenbest, the department store wing of Chinese company Sanpower, had purchased a 89 per cent stake in House of Fraser. Sanpower is owned and controlled by one of the richest men in China – Yuan Yafei. Despite the promise of making major investments in the British chain by the Chinese company at the time of the acquisition, not enough has obviously been done by Sanpower to prevent a collapse of House of Fraser financially.
They had signed a memorandum of understanding, said the two companies in a statement that was released via the Hong Kong stock exchange. The investments in House of Fraser would allow C.banner to further collaborate for its existing footwear and toy retail companies and it will aos be able to expand overseas, C.banner said.
The department store chain said the proposed share sale would have no impact on day-to-day operations, declaring: “It is business as usual.”
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)