We have laid the foundations for sustained long-term growth--through our programme of refurbishments, our plans for new stores, Conpany continuing focus on international designer brands, and our ever-greater understanding of customers' needs. House of Fraser PLC bills itself as the United Kingdom's leading retailer of designer brands--the department store chain boasts nearly 2, of them, including a number of popular in-house brands featuring the company's own designs.
Many of these store names operate as a strictly local or regional business, and often represent a single store.
Yet the company's past attempts at rebranding its stores under a common name has usually met with strong local resistance. The company has performed a turnaround in the new millennium, reorienting its image as an up-market, fashion house; the company also has been pursuing an ambitious refurbishing program as it revamps many of its aging stores.
Meanwhile, House of Fraser has embarked on a new expansion drive at the beginning of the century, calling for the addition of five new stores by and acknowledging its interest in acquiring some of its smaller competitors. The House of Fraser started out as a small draper's shop in Glasgow, Voorhees Theater Company. The future Lord Hugh Fraser, representing Houae new generation of Frasers, was born in and left school to join the family business.
InHugh Fraser was named chairman and managing director, which at the time still consisted of the single Buchanan Street store. Yet under its new chairman, the store--and the company--was to undergo substantial growth, and by the early s was to become the preeminent department store group in the United Kingdom. Fraser began Lift Repair Company new stores in the years following the war, and bythe year the company went public, Fraser had already built up a chain of 15 stores.
The following decade was to see still stronger growth, primarily through acquisitions. InFraser acquired the Binns chain of stores, a company that had started out with a single shop in Wearmouth in The Binns acquisition proved merely a prelude to a larger acquisition.
Inthe House of Fraser, as the company had come to be called, acquired the Harrods department store chain. Harrods, like Zee Music Company Official Website, had been founded in Founder Henry Charles Harrod sold the business to his son, Charles Digby Harrod, inDuxbak Clothing Company History sold the business to an investment group, which changed the store's status to that of limited liability company.
That store had Porfile established in on London's Oxford Street before moving to its Regent Street location in Harrods later went on to take over Rackhams, founded as a drapery shop in Birmingham in before expanding to become a House Of Fraser Company Profile, regional chain of department stores. Another addition to the Harrods empire was the DH Evans Houde, which had been founded in and which opened a London store in The addition of Harrods transformed Fraser into a major force in British retailing.
Lord Fraser had been joined by his son, Hugh Fraser later Sir Hugh House Of Fraser Company Profilewho had started with the business as a floor assistant at the age of 16 before taking over after his father's retirement in Other purchases followed, including the Cavendish House department store in Cheltenham and the Dingles stores. Yet Sir Hugh Fraser took over the House of Fraser at a time when the British consumer was beginning to abandon the country's large-scale and often stuffy department stores in favor of smaller, trendier shops.
The House of Fraser's' large stores and Prrofile sales led to too much sales space and too large a stock burden. The collapse of the economic boom in the mids, the result of the Arab Oil Embargo ofhit the company all the harder.
Meanwhile, Sir Hugh Fraser's personal fortune was declining rapidly as a result of mounting gambling debts. When the stock market learned of Fraser's actions, Fraser went ahead and sold off the rest of SUITS to then friend Hpuse "Tiny" Rowland, a German citizen Prpfile in India, who was behind the South African Lonrho conglomerate, but who remained a controversial figure in the British business community.
Yet Rowland's real interest was quickly revealed to be the House of Fraser, specifically its Harrods department store. Fraser, who was ultimately dropped from the House of Fraser's board of directors, joined his company in resisting the South African raider.
Rowland in turn launched what was described as a "guerilla war" against the company. Ultimately, however, Rowland was thwarted when the British Mergers and Monopolies commission blocked his attempt to gain full control of the House Yosemite Park And Curry Company Fraser. InRowland "parked" his 30 percent of House of Fraser with Egypt's Fayed brothers--or so he thought. Inthe Fayeds turned their back on Rowland and reached an agreement with Frqser House of Fraser to acquire the rest of the company's shares.
Yet the sale stood and House of Fraser was taken off the public market. Led by Mohamed Al Fayed whose son Dodi was killed in the auto Pofile that also killed Princess Diana inHouse of Fraser began trimming its empire in the late s and early House Of Fraser Company Profile. Bythe company's Houss of department stores had dwindled to only half its size in the s. House of Fraser was lagging behind such competitors as Selfridges, Debenhams, and John Lewis in its sales-per-square-foot.
Dothan Glass Company for cash, the Fayeds prepared to sell off House of Fraser in the early s, keeping only the Harrods store as part of a growing collection of landmark London stores and hotels.
A new managing director, Andrew Jennings, was appointed to lead the store group. Jennings conducted a review of the company's Compxny and then set out to revamp its image.
Among the changes made were the abandonment of Frassr number of departments, such Proflle haberdashery, fabrics, and knitting, and a re-centering of the company's focus on fashion.
The company also restructured its stores, separating them into three groups according to size in order to refocus its product offering. House of Fraser returned to the London stock exchange in and quickly ran into new economic troubles, seeing its profits slump into the mid-decade. Inthe company brought in a new chief executive, John Coleman, who promptly launched a new strategic review of the company. House of Fraser now sought to restore its traditionally upmarket image and become recognized as a center for high-end designer fashions.
Coupled with its new strategy, which saw the introduction of a vast range of designer labels, House of Fraser launched its own in-house brand featuring the company's own designs. Called Linea, the new label outperformed the company's expectations and helped to drive the company's growth through the end of the decade.
That label's success led the company to introduce two new in-house brands, Fraser and Platinum, in ByHouse of Fraser once again appeared to be in a strong position to grow. The company now began targeting fresh expansion through the addition of new stores.
Yet the company's expansion plans were hampered by a lack of financial muscle. House of Fraser solved this problem in part by setting up House Of Fraser Company Profile joint venture with British Land, called BL Fraser, which then Profipe 15 of House of Fraser's store freeholds, which were then leased back to the department store group. At the end ofthe company revealed that it had been carrying out secret talks to acquire smaller rival Allders, a group with 21 stores.
The two sides could not agree on a price, however, and the deal fell through. Inthe company started the construction of a new store in London, to open on King William Street and to feature some 55, square feet of selling space. In that year, also, the company extended its Linea line of clothing fashions to include home furnishings, under the Linea Home rPofile. The company launched the House of Fraser line of women's clothing, and a range House Of Fraser Company Profile men's clothing, called The Collection.
In addition, in House of Fraser discovered "Customer Relationship Management" and began to put into place a new program, including the rollout of a so-called "loyalty card" to attract and retain shoppers. The new stores were Vmc Construction Company to open by By the beginning ofhowever, the company already had added two new store sites to its list, at Croydon and Maidstone, and other negotiations were underway to develop three to four new store sites.
Despite the company's new commitment to organic growth--and despite its failure to acquire Allders--it had not ruled out other acquisitions. We are about as small as you can be [to operate efficiently] and there are lots of smaller players out there who cannot afford the investment in a systems and supply chain that we've put in over the last five years. There would be significant costs you could take out. We could support another 20 or 30 stores.
The company also continued its program of revamping its existing store park. In the years since its second public listing the company had succeeded in whipping itself back into fighting shape Frraser planned to earn its self-proclaimed title as the United Kingdom's leading retailer of designer brands. Toggle navigation. User Contributions:. Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: Name:. E-mail: Show my email publicly. Public Comment: characters.
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