Landmark Manchester department store Kendals is to close in the new year after talks between House of Fraser’s new owner, Sports Direct, and the building’s landlord broke down.
The closure of the 182-year-old store in the Deansgate area will result in several hundred job losses. Staff were told on Friday 19 October 2018 that the store would trade through the Christmas period before shutting for good on 28 January.
The sportswear retailer, controlled by Mike Ashley, snapped up the stricken department store chain for £90m in August but is yet to finalise how many of its 59 stores will close. So far 22 have been saved including Frasers in Glasgow after Sports Direct bought the building for £95m.
A spokesman for House of Fraser said it had suggested various options to the landlord in Manchester, but they had been rebuffed: “We are now in consultation with staff about the fact that the store faces closure in the new year.”
About 160 House of Fraser employees face losing their jobs but the figure does not include staff working for the fashion brands with concessions inside the store. The 387,595 sq ft (36,000 sq metres) was bought by a private investor for £84.5m in 2016, according to the property agent Savills.
Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, described Kendals as a “Manchester institution” with the art deco building a “treasure of our city’s architecture”.
“The city council will do everything it can to get this decision reversed and support those working at the store who will be shocked at today’s news,” he said.