House of Fraser cooks up own-brand food range

Department store group House of Fraser will launch an own-brand luxury food range in its refurbished Birmingham store in September. A limited roll-out is planned for Christmas.

Chief executive John Coleman revealed the offer would go on sale in the new-look food hall, badged World of Food.

Coleman said World of Food would incorporate 'world cuisine' eating areas alongside non-branded areas, such as fresh produce, a butcher's shop and fresh fish counter.

'Own-brand will not be a huge percentage of the offer,' said Coleman.

'There will be a mix of well-known brands alongside private label.'

Coleman believes the House of Fraser food range, composed of dry goods such as teas, coffee and confitures, has the potential to be a big Christmas seller.

'People like to give luxury foods and I can see potential for more than just Birmingham. It could go into six to eight of our stores - maybe more with our new openings.'

In the year to January 25, pre-tax profits at House of Fraser fell from£22.8 million to£17.8 million. However, like-for-like sales increased by 2.4 per cent.

Coleman also doused take-over speculation. He said the board had been approached in the wake of Tom Hunter's failed bid, but they were 'speculative approaches' that had come to nothing.

House of Fraser will open a store in the City of London later this year.