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Andrew Mitchell seeks meeting with Mike Ashley, the new owner of House of Fraser


Andrew Mitchell MP has written to Mike Ashley, the new owner who acquired the House of Fraser chain, to seek a meeting in view of its strong connection to Royal Sutton Coldfield.

The House of Fraser in Sutton Coldfield’s Gracechurch Centre is one of the flagship stores in the West Midlands and local representatives of Sutton Coldfield are keen to support the local store, not least because it is a significant employer in the town.

Andrew Mitchell’s offer is for a meeting with Mike Ashley or a member of his Senior Management Team, also to be attended by the leader of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Simon Ward. Andrew Mitchell has also spoken to the union USDAW with a view to their involvement in any local meeting if and when it becomes appropriate (USDAW is the principal union involved with the House of Fraser, although they have very few members in the Sutton Coldfield store).

Following the announcement, Andrew Mitchell MP said:
“This is very much a local initiative in support of a well-loved and well used anchor store in the Royal Town. We are all concerned to see it thrive and flourish under its new ownership to the advantage of Sutton and the many people who work within the store.”

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct bought the chain just hours after it went into administration earlier this month. Across the country, 31 stores were earmarked for closure under the restructuring deal that was first struck before Mr Ashley stepped in with his £90m rescue bid.

The Sutton Coldfield store located in Gracechurch Centre is understood to be safe, but stores earmarked for closure include Birmingham's famous House of Fraser in Corporation Street along with shops in Leamington Spa, Shrewsbury, Telford, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

House of Fraser's flagship Oxford Street store will also stay open after the chain's new owner agreed revised terms with its landlord earlier this week.



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