Frasers’ boss Mike Ashley has been ordered to replace the letters of a 180-year-old landmark department store in Edinburgh.
Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct, has been issued with a formal notice to Sports Direct International, now rebranded as Frasers Group, over work “executed to the listed building… having regard to the effect of the works on the character of the building as one of special architectural or historic interest”.
Jenners, the Scottish department store, has traded in Edinburgh’s Prices Street for more than 180 years.
It was previously an independent retailer until it was snapped up by House of Fraser in 2005, prior to the billionaire businessman’s acquisition of the high street chain.
The council has alleged that Ashley’s company has “without listed building consent” removed “the individual letters forming ‘Jenners’ located at high level on both the eastern (South St David Street) and southern (Princes Street) elevations”.
The council said Ashley’s retail empire is required to “reinstate the letters to their original location on the eastern and southern elevations of the department store to form the name ‘Jenners’”.
Another section of the notice confirms the letters are intact and are “currently stored in the department store”.
The company has been given three months to comply after the notice takes effect on Friday, 14 May.
Ashley can appeal against the notice, but the council said “any appeal must be received, or posted in time to be received, by Scottish ministers” before that date.
Earlier this year it was announced the store was to close with the loss of 200 jobs after Frasers Group failed to reach an agreement with owner Anders Polvsen to continue the lease on the building.
The company has been contacted for comment, Press Association said.