Department store House of Fraser has fallen into administration – though its stores will remain open and continue trading as normal for now.
Back in June the chain announced plans to close over 30 stores in 2019 as part of a rescue plan, as we told in our MSE News Story.
The company’s website is currently down, and displaying a message saying: “Were currently working hard to make some improvements to the website. Dont worry, we will be back up and running as soon as possible.”
EY (also known as Ernst & Young) was set to be confirmed as the administrator for House of Fraser later this morning, but around 10am there was a stock market announcement from Sports Direct saying it has acquired all of the UK stores of House of Fraser, the brand and all of the stock in the business. It’s not yet clear what this means for the future of House of Fraser.
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Got a gift card? Use it ASAP
House of Fraser’s customer service team has told us that stores are open for “business as usual” and gift cards are still being accepted for now. It has also told us that customers can continue to use their ‘Recognition Card’ – the company’s loyalty card.
Unfortunately however, as is always the case when a company goes into administration, gift and loyalty cards could stop being accepted at any time, so it may be wise to spend yours now, whilst you still can.
It’s not yet clear what Sports Direct will decide to do in terms of gift cards.
Your return rights will remain as normal – for now
Typically, if you bought something in-store from House of Fraser, you can return the item within 14 days for a full refund to the original payment method, regardless of whether it’s damaged or not.
For returns outside of this period but within 28 days, you can exchange the item or be refunded with a gift card.
Online purchases can also be returned to store or to a House of Fraser return centre within 28 days of your order for a full refund, and within 35 days for a House of Fraser voucher.
House of Fraser’s customer service team have said this policy will remain as normal for now, but again, it’s not yet clear what Sports Direct will decide to do, so if you have something you wish to return, don’t wait, do it ASAP.
What if I have an outstanding online order?
You can’t currently make online orders, because House of Fraser’s website is down.
We understand from House of Fraser’s customer service team that it will be honouring outstanding orders, but we haven’t had this confirmed from head office yet.
What does House of Fraser say?
House of Fraser chairman Frank Slevin said: “This has been an extraordinarily challenging six months in which the business has delivered so many critical elements of the turnaround plan.
“I am confident House of Fraser is close to securing its future.”
Additional reporting by the Press Association.