House of Fraser in Camberley “to close”

According to the BBC, our House of Fraser will be closed.  Sad news for all concerned

UPDATE

The BBC has added “Of the 31 stores it [HoF] wants to shut, it is seeking a 70% rent reduction for seven months, after which the stores will close.”

 

20 thoughts on “House of Fraser in Camberley “to close”

  1. Sad news especially for the staff, but am not surprised..
    ..Allders closed down 14 years ago ! ……. I guess the council are very surprised and shocked.?

  2. What a shame/blow/loss and as you rightly say hugely disappointing for the staff there.

    High street demise caused by internet explosion, but if there had been a council with councillors who knew what they were doing, or even did something, then Camberley could have been so different, especially considering the demographics of the local population.

    • Totally agree. When I was involved with “land west of Park Street” in the early 90’s, we campaigned to make Camberley something different in terms of retail offerings, to differentiate Camberley from the towns around us. Instead, for years there has been rumours of “John Lewis coming to Camberley” – which was never going to happen. Bit by bit any personality Camberley did have has been flattened, down graded or we get 2nd level versions of the big retailers such as H&M, Top Shop et al.

      • I agree, JL was never going to come to Camberley. But the council spent six years trying to get ‘an anchor store’ to come – without success, obviously.

  3. it is very sad news for so many people.

    SHBC Housing [build] target will no doubt benefit with 400 + affordable flats without car parking.

    Wait for planning Licence request to address the huge ground floor area.
    New Night Club – featuring the capability to host 2,000 – with party nights Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.With free parking right next door in Multi-story.

    They can spread into open Park Street for All Night open street parties, or into the covered SQ to support the events when weather is cold or wet.

    CTC Resident

  4. Sad day for the staff and in the short term for the town. The optimist in me says it could be a good thing as that huge site could be redeveloped in such a way to finally link the Mall / Square with Park Street and the Atrium. Currently, House of Fraser is slap bang in the middle of the town but the two entrances are tiny and the outer facade is bordering on brutalist in it’s architectural style.

    I’d remodel the area by Poundland to integrate Princess Way and make a new more open entrance into the town from the carpark which gives three clear open paths through the town. One to the right up towards Wilko / High Street, one straight on leading into the Square and one to the left which goes to redeveloped House of Fraser area with two or three large stores and a clear sight to Park Street.

    In reality though we will end up with the world’s first three storey Vape superstore, complete with barber shop concession. They could have a Vape roof terrace which would have a sickly sweet plume of steam which would be visible from space.

    • The borough council has proposed a similar, but lesser, scheme to open up Princess Way. It doesn’t involve demolishing any part of HoF or Poundland, but it would need a new entrance to the mall to be constructed between them so the east-west link could stay open 24hrs.
      And what’s wrong with a three-storey Vape superstore???? We get the shops that people want and support; if a superstore can pull the crowds into Camberley, and they part with money, what’s not to like!!

    • But it has been very much on the cards for years, really. The tatty floor tiles tell a more convincing tale than any number of public announcements. So no surprise.

  5. Completely Overated store & prices, shame for the staff remember the good old days when it was Harvey’s and fish gardens on the roof garden & you could listen to records in wall booths.
    Now faced with flats or a nightclub …….. progress they call it

  6. Very sad for the staff but, to be brutally honest it was inevitable. The store was outdated and overpriced.
    This will potentially provide the Council with a massive conflict of interest. Having borrowed a huge amount of money on our behalf to invest in the town centre it is their duty to maximise the return. I would have thought that in the current retail climate, which is not only hitting Camberley, there is no chance of attracting a single retail tenant to the site and so either it has be converted to accomodate a number of smaller retail units or face a change of use. The new local plan proposals set out objectives for providing housing, a large part of which they suggest should be in the town centre and with a sizeable proportion being affordable, but also, somewhat conflictingly, for the need to preserve the amount of employment space. It will be fascinating to see what happens.
    Do you think the Council will ever publish seperate financial statements showing the results of their town centre property investment business? I somehow doubt it because I expect it will prove to be embarassing.

    • As I’ve said elsewhere, the tatty state of the floor tiles in the House of Fraser really said it all. No maintenance = no future. I agree with your comments about the ‘next’ use of the building. A real challenge. But the council has tended to stress that its acquisition of The Mall was to regenerate a tired shopping centre (and I agree that this need to be done, although whether it was done at the right price is an open question) rather than as an investment. But it sometimes forgets the script and says that councils are forced to invest because of cut-backs in central government funding. Which starts to answer your final para. IF the investment makes a good return, you bet the council will publicise the fact. If it doesn’t then it will claim commercial confidentiality.

    • To be fair to the council, the problems facing the retail sector aren’t of the council’s making. Though if it didn’t take full account of the possibility/probability when it bought the Mall, it was negligent. Watching the struggle that landlords have to obtain retail tenants, I suspect the building might not be in full occupancy for years once HoF has left…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.