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House of Fraser Plc, a Scottish company, operates department stores comprising the House of Fraser Group throughout the United Kingdom. The department stores sell ladieswear, menswear, furniture, kitchenware and fashion accessories.

In 1959, it succeeded in taking over the whole Harrods Group. In 1985 Alfayed Investment and Trust (UK) Limited acquired House of Fraser, including Harrods, for £615 million. In 1994, the 56 House of Fraser department stores was floated on the London Stock Exchange.

House of Fraser continues to expand on its market position as one of Britain's leading retailers of designer brands. New brands recently introduced in womenswear include Fornarina, Evisu, Blue Marlin, Itsus and Miss Sixty. Burberry accessories, Bobby Brown and Crème de la Mer cosmetics, as well as Max Mara, French Connection, Paul Smith, Armani Jeans have also been made available. In addition, there is a growing range of private label brands such as Linea , Linea Petites and Linea Home, Platinum, Fraser and Essentials.

The Group has two new stores at Bluewater and Reading, has just acquired Bentalls in Bristol for £15.6 million, and has signed plans for further stores in the City of London in 2002, High Wycombe and Maidstone in 2003 and Norwich in 2004. These will create over 1000 new jobs. In September 1999 discussions were underway regarding a merger between House of Fraser and Allders, but these have since been discontinued.

Major refurbishment work has been undertaken in 2000 in House of Fraser branches in Oxford Street, Guildford, Manchester and Cardiff to increase the numbers of new brands offered at each site.

Since April 2000 eight stores have been piloting a customer relationship management initiative called 'recognition'. This scheme gives customers vouchers against future purchases when they spend above certain thresholds. Their details are also stored in order to tailor the Group's marketing activity. This scheme has been successful and therefore rolled out to a further four stores.

House of Fraser currently employs 6,368 people and has a market capitalisation of £150.6 million. For the half year ending 29th July 2000, the Group grew turnover to £364.5million compared to £351.1million in 1999, with like for like sales increasing by 4.9 per cent. Gross profit margin was maintained at 32.9 per cent.

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