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
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
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.