‘Mike Ashley’s House of Fraser bailout could help reinvent Jenners’

Jenners on Princes Street.
Jenners on Princes Street.
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Professor Leigh Sparks, who specialises in retail studies at Stirling University, has claimed Mike Ashley’s investment in the struggling House of Fraser brand could yet prove to be a boon for Jenners.

Prof Sparks told the Evening News while the situation was still unclear, the £90 million takeover could yet spell a reinvestment in the flagship Princes Street outlet.

He said: “It looks as though Sports Direct will buy everything, but given the CVA situation we don’t know exactly what that means.

“I suspect the House of Fraser site will undergo a change of use and be sold on, but Jenners is an iconic businesses that has a big cache and I think there will be an interest in re-inventing and investing in it.

“I would like to think that the owners would see it as an asset. There is value in the brand.”

READ MORE: Jenners faces unknown as Mike Ashley bails out House of Fraser

Prof Sparks added: “The thought of hollowing out Princes Street, but taking out both of these stores at either end is sad.

“There is an opportunity to strengthen Edinburgh’s retail offering with the St James development and the renaissance of George Street. There are good things to build on.”

Leigh Sparks is professor of retail studies at the Institute for Retail Studies based at Stirling University. He is a former academic member of the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s Retail Strategy Group.