RETAILER House of Fraser has announced plans to shut 31 of its 59 stores, including Binns, in Darlington, and its Middlesbrough store, as part of a rescue deal, impacting around 6,000 jobs.

House of Fraser said it has already informed those whose jobs are impacted by its plans.

The closures are part of a proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement, which will require approval from creditors who will make their decision on June 22.

Following the announcement, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: "This is an absolute hammer blow to our high streets. I’ll be sitting down with my officials at Tees Valley Combined Authority to see what we can do to help those affected."

The House of Fraser stores identified for closure under the CVA proposal are: Altrincham, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Camberley, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chichester, Cirencester, Cwmbran, Darlington, Doncaster, Edinburgh Frasers, Epsom, Grimsby, High Wycombe, Hull, Leamington Spa, Lincoln, London Oxford Street, London King William Street, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Skipton, Swindon, Telford, Wolverhampton, Worcester

Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, said: "The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive.

"Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base, which without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business.

"So whilst closing stores is a very difficult decision, especially given the length of relationship House of Fraser has with all its locations, there should be no doubt that it is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive."

As part of the CVA process, House of Fraser also plans to relocate its Baker Street head office and Granite House office in Glasgow to new locations to help cut costs.

The company said it expects stores that are scheduled for closure to remain open until early 2019.

Hamleys owner C.banner is being lined up to buy a 51% stake in House of Fraser and invest £70 million into what remains of the business.

But its cash injection is pledged only on the condition the retailer can agree the CVA restructuring.

Will Wright, a restructuring partner at KPMG - which is handling the CVA, warned that House of Fraser would be at risk of administration if the CVA does not go ahead.

He said: "The business has been impacted by the mounting pressures facing the UK high street, with the declining profitability of certain stores exacerbated by costly legacy leases which were originally negotiated many years ago.

"With trading conditions unlikely to materially improve in the short term, the future of House of Fraser is at significant risk unless steps to restructure the business both financially and operationally are taken."

A raft of CVAs have been struck in recent months as retailers struggle amid surging costs, rising business rates, competition from online rivals and a slowdown in consumer spending.

Other retailers undertaking CVAs in a bid to keep trading include New Look, Mothercare and Carpetright.

Restaurant businesses have also been seeking to cut their costs with store closure programmes, with Carluccio's, Byron and Prezzo all pushing through CVAs this year.

What do you think of plans to close Binns in Darlington and Middlesbrough?

What do you think of plans to close Binns in Darlington and Middlesbrough?

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.