Mike Ashley has offered loans to House of Fraser suppliers left out in the cold and has finally reached a deal with warehouse operator XPO.
Ashley, who had told suppliers that they will “not be paid a penny” of the debts owed to them incurred under Sanpower’s ownership, according to Drapers, has offered loans to some struggling suppliers.
The terms of the loans are unknown but the move is sure to be read by many observers as a cynical one.
Ashley has also come to a deal with warehouse operator XPO.
XPO, which runs House of Fraser’s two warehouses in Wellingborough and Milton Keynes, closed the sites on August 15 after it emerged that Ashley would not be paying it for debts incurred under previous HoF ownership.
The resulting stalemate has prevented House of Fraser from trading online, with many customers still awaiting refunds for unprocessed orders. The Milton Keynes site will now reopen temporarily but will close on November 27, resulting in 300 job losses.
House of Fraser’s second warehouse in Wellingborough will remain open until at least March. However, it is thought that another 300 job losses are on the cards due to the probability that Ashley will switch all House of Fraser operations to his Sports Direct Shirebrook warehouse in a bid to improve efficiency and save costs.
GMB organiser Alan Costello said that its members had been “left by the wayside, while XPO and Sports Direct fight like rabid dogs over the bones of House of Fraser”.