Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is to close three House of Fraser department stores after discussions with landlords regarding rent allegedly failed.

Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon are reportedly expected to close. The three were previously among 15 sites listed on Sunday (23 September) that would remain open, despite being earlier earmarked for closure.

A store in Bath is also at risk of closure it is reported by the BBC

Ashley – also the owner of fashion chain Flannels – acquired House of Fraser for GBP90m in August and pledged a strategy to “transform [it] into the Harrods of the High Street”.

On acquisition of the company, Ashley was hopeful the majority of the 59 stores would remain open. 

Ashley reportedly told the BBC he was “disappointed that […] a small number of greedy landlords still refuse to be reasonable” despite showing what could be achieved on the British high street when owners and landlords worked together.

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“I am calling on everybody to pull together, including landlords and local authorities in order to help to save as many House of Fraser stores and jobs as possible on the great British high street.”

The stores at which new rent terms have now been agreed are: Altrincham, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Camberley, Carlisle, Darlington, Doncaster, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Lincoln, London (Oxford Street), Middlesbrough, Plymouth, Skipton, Telford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Maidstone, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield.

Representatives for House of Fraser did not return requests for comment at the time of going to press.