House of Fraser owed millions to major brands before collapse


House of Fraser owed brands such as Gucci and Ralph Lauren (Source: Getty)

House of Fraser racked up debts of almost £500m in the run-up to its collapse, owing major designer brands such as Gucci, Armani and Mulberry.

Administrators Ernst & Young (EY) have reported that the chain’s creditors are owed sums totalling hundreds of millions of pounds, with more than 1,000 suppliers set to be out of pocket.

The department store, which has already cancelled all its online orders after a dispute with its third-party logistics company XPO on Friday, has been bought out for £90m by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who hopes to turn House of Fraser into a ‘Harrods on the high street’.

Read more: House of Fraser was almost sold for just £1

However, the retail tycoon has said that he will not pay suppliers any money that was owed before his takeover.

Ashley bought the department store in a "pre-packaged administration", meaning he is allowed to drop certain liabilities through the insolvency process.

Read more: Mike Ashley to turn House of Fraser into 'Harrods of the high street'

Among the range of fashion and beauty brands were owed money was Tommy Hilfiger (owed £3.3m), Barbour (£3m), Mint Velvet (£2.5m), Mulberry (£2.4m) and L’Oréal (£2m).

Pop star Liam Gallaher’s Pretty Green gashion label is also owed roughly £500,000.