How HoF is impacting the high street - is it a sign of the times?

High street powerhouse, House of Fraser, recently announced their planned closing of 31 stores. After months of uncertainty, Sports Direct’s, Mike Ashley has taken hold of the brand in a buyout worth £90m - but what really was the cause for HoF’s brand collapse?

Department stores are going digital

In its early years, House of Fraser presented a rare concept - multiple brands across one store - ‘temptation on every level.’ With the rise of ecommerce and customers choosing to make purchases from the comfort of their own home, the thrill of shopping diversity under one roof quickly diminished.

Impatient shoppers

As a result of internet shopping giant, Amazon, soon it became less about how many brands you could shop across, but rather the speed in which your shopping could get from the online basket to your door. This change in shopping experience has also been reflected in the number of big brands like Newlook and Mothercare, who continue to reduce store total as a result of decreased footfall.

Brands are selling direct

House of Fraser’s model of selling premium brands, was a preferred shopping experience for most in previous decades. However, in recent brands more brands are choosing to sell directly, rather than through a shop representative, and are seeing noticeable shifts in sales as a result of the removal of the department store ‘middle-man.’

Consumers have too much choice

Once a household favourite, House of Fraser’s failure to keep up both on and offline has seen the company become irrelevant in a adaptive and competitive market. HoF is leading as an alarming example that older well-known brands need to consistently adapt to a younger, more advanced audience.


Whilst they may have maintained a share of the market for some time, as the original generation ages, its initial popularity just wasn’t enough to maintain a spot as the people’s favourite department store. If your a retail business that is concerned about being left behind, see what we could do to rejuvenate your processes here.?

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