House of Fraser loses some credit insurance cover

An unnamed credit insurer has pulled its cover of House of Fraser in recent weeks as the department store chain faces tough times following a disappointing Christmas period. City AM reported the news but gave few details.

House of Fraser

The insurer’s decision is reported to be affecting only 20 of the company’s 650 suppliers. But we don’t know which 20 they are and how big their business with House of Fraser is. Those suppliers will now need to find new insurance deals that would protect their revenue should House of Fraser be unable to pay them, or they could start demanding upfront payment from the business.

House of Fraser was one of a number of UK businesses that struggled over the Christmas trading period with major rival Debenhams also hit by cautious consumers and the move online.

But the two chains had a very different approach to the difficult retail backdrop with Debenhams being forced to make major price cuts while House of Fraser said it maintained prices. 

CEO Alex Williamson said the company was not prepared to "sell everything to everyone at any price” and while this strategy boosted margins, it hit sales. Online sales, for instance, fell 7.5% at a time when even many struggling retailers reported higher e-sales.

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