House of Fraser is a British department store group, founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1849. The company grew steadily during the early 20th century, and after the Second World War a large number of acquisitions transformed the business into a national chain. After collapsing into administration in August 2018, the retailer was acquired by Sports Direct (rebranded as Frasers Group in December 2019), fulfilling boss Mike Ashley’s ambitions of adding a department store business to his growing portfolio. Ashley said at the time of acquiring HoF that he would make it “the Harrods of the high street”. He originally pledged to keep 80% of the stores open, with 50 of the 59 stores he acquired continuing to trade in mid-2019, but more closures are on the cards. Ashley had also announced plans to convert 30 or so stores to the more premium Frasers fascia, stocking high-end brands, over five years from 2020. With securing the future of the UK store network his key focus, his plans for the online business have yet to become apparent. In the past, House of Fraser had been seen as a multichannel leader, but its online operations are being built up again following the temporary closure of its website after the takeover by Sports Direct.