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Control of House of Fraser changes hands

The move could be seen as a show of faith in the UK retail market or another nail in the coffin; without knowing the selling price it is hard to tell
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One thing you can't get online is that overpowering smell of cosmetics and perfume you get in department stores

Ownership of one of Britain’s oldest department store groups, the House of Fraser, is to change hands … from one Chinese entity to another.

Nanjing Xinjiekou Department Store will sell its 51% stake in the 169-year-old retail chain to Wuji Wenhua, a Chinese tourism development company.

House of Fraser was acquired in 2014 for around £450mln by Sanpower Group, which owns a 27.3% stake in Nanjing Xinijiekou.

Sanpower had planned to open up “Oriental Fraser” outlets in China but it seems the Chinese are no more enamoured of the department store format than the British, as only one branch was opened.

Intriguingly, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley owns a minority stake in House of Fraser and also has a stake in another department store group, Debenhams PLC (LON:DEB).

The sale of House of Fraser comes less than a week after the Maplin and the UK arm of Toys R Us went into administration.

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