Politicians and landlords fear thousands of job losses and the death of beloved high street stores ahead of House of Fraser’s vote on store closures tomorrow.
The struggling retailer’s creditors will decide tomorrow whether to approve a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will result in 31 of the 59 House of Fraser stores closing down.
But the vote is hanging in the balance, with at least one high-profile creditor telling City A.M. they plan to vote against the plans, while another said landlords are being depicted as "fat cats".
Harry de Ferry Foster, director of the Charities Property Fund which owns the Chichester store, told City A.M. he had not decided which way to vote, but that he expected the proposals to be passed.
"Everyone loves to kick landlords because they think they’re greedy fat cats," he said. "But it’s our charities and pension funds that own these stores."
Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, a constituency which is set to lose two stores under the plans, told City A.M.: "Naturally, I am very concerned for those who stand to lose their jobs in the Oxford Street and City branches. Sadly, as is always the case in these situations, redundancies are to be expected."
Pat McFadden, a Labour MP whose city could lose the iconic Wolverhampton Beatties store, said: "Beatties is much loved and it has been around for a long time. It is very identified with the city. Even though its part of House of Fraser its considered a stand-alone Wolverhampton institution, and I think that is true with a number of House of Fraser stores."
Labour heavyweight Frank Field said he had written to House of Fraser encouraging it to reinvent itself. "It is an iconic 1920s place, one of the most beautiful buildings still left in Birkenhead," he said.