Guildford House of Fraser to close in September

2nd August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Guildford’s last department store House of Fraser is set to close its doors in September.

Closing down signs appeared at the 185,347 sq ft store on Tuesday (2nd August) however owner Frasers Group has made no mention of the closure online.

A staff member said the department store could close as early as the end of August.

Since its acquisition by Mike Ashley’s retail empire in August 2018 after entering administration, House of Fraser has undergone significant downsizing, reducing from 59 stores to 31.

This comes just days after Frasers Group boss Michael Murray described the department store model as “broken”. Murray said that the historical store sizes of 150,000 sq ft or larger are now considered too large, leading to insufficient investment in the past. The group is now aiming for stores of around 50,000 sq ft or smaller.

The future of the Guildford branch of House of Fraser remains uncertain, however the site at 105-111 High Street has been on the market for a number of years.

Past rumours have speculated that the upper levels of the six-storey building could be turned into residential accommodation, with the lower floors remaining as retail units.

Based in between Guildford High Street and North Street, the House of Fraser store was refitted and relaunched at the turn of the millennium. It was formerly William Harvey and then an Army & Navy. The building is Grade II-listed.

When House of Fraser shuts, the Surrey town will be left with no department stores following Debenhams’ closure in May 2021.

A sign on the North Street side of House of Fraser Guildford


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