Express & Star

ScS to close all House of Fraser concessions - including Beatties

The furniture giant that runs the sofas and carpets section in Beatties has quit the store following talks with owner Mike Ashley.

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Beatties in Wolverhampton city centre

ScS has decided to close its ground-floor operation at the end of next month, bringing to an end a four-year tie-in with the iconic store which has just been saved from closure.

It came as the Sunderland-based firm announced it will shut down all 27 concessions it has in House of Fraser stores around the country by January.

It will serve as a major blow to Beatties, which has lost several concessions despite Sports Direct boss Mr Ashley's £90 million buyout of House of Fraser in August.

ScS also has 101 stand-alone stores, including branches in Wednesbury, Wolverhampton and Cannock.

Its House of Fraser concessions employed 124 staff and made up 7.1 per cent of total sales last year. But bosses said the House of Fraser arm of the business accounted for only 2.7 per cent of the group's orders for the 12 weeks ending October 20.

An ScS spokesman said: “We can confirm we’ve made the decision to leave House of Fraser’s Wolverhampton concession, and are working with the team affected to redeploy as many as possible within the wider business.

“The intended closure date for our Wolverhampton concession is the end of November."

ScS suffered a sales hit to its House of Fraser concessions when the department store giant went into administration earlier this year.

Its gross sales fell 9.4 per cent to £24.8m in the year to July 28 – a bleak picture that has continued since Mike Ashley took over the reins in August.

However, across its entire business ScS has posted an 11 per cent rise in annual profits, with a £4.3m (1.3 per cent) increase in revenue in the year to £337.3m.

Earlier this month directors said they were in discussions with House of Fraser 'with a view to agreeing a mutually beneficial arrangement, which will allow us to continue trading in a profitable manner in as many of the current concessions as possible'.

Chief executive officer David Knight said: “The downturn in sales in our House of Fraser concessions has been more than offset by growth in our core ScS business."