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Harrods boss backs Ashley's House of Fraser plans

Harrods managing director Michael Ward has spoken out in support of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley’s plans to restore House of Fraser.

Following the purchase of the department store chain on 10 August, Ashley gave an interview to The Sun, where he outlined his ambitions for the struggling retailer. He said that he would try to keep 80% of the department store chain’s 59 stores open and aimed to add successful “cool brands of the moment”.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Ward said that he believed Ashley means to take House of Fraser more “upmarket” and “experiential”.

Ward told The Telegraph: “Having a Harrods in every British town wouldn’t work, it would fail miserably. Harrods works because we are in one location – London, the capital city.

“Mike knows he won’t be successful putting Prada into every House of Fraser shop. But he will be successful in making the chain more fun.”

He also told The Telgraph that he was not surprised to see the retailer fall into administration claiming that the decline of the high street was “because it is dull and boring and not inspiring to the customer.”

Harrods looks set to continue strong profit performance, after reporting its eighth consecutive year of record sales in October, breaking through the £2bn mark for the first time.

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