Nanjing’s House of Fraser to Pilot Champagne Bars and Yoga Classes

Struggling department store House of Fraser is to launch champagne bars, yoga studios and wellness studios in a bid to boost sales.


Champagne bars, yoga studios and well-being centres join a host of new restaurants aimed to encourage women to spend more time in stores.

There will also be fewer sales and promotions in a bid to boost sales of full price clothes – and avoid introducing across-the-board price hikes to cope with rising costs from the fall in the pound since Brexit.

Over the past two years 12 stores have been refurbish as part of £90m of investment.

Rising costs: There will be fewer sales and promotions in a bid to boost sales of full price clothes

House of Fraser bosses unveiled their plans as they dismissed questions about the absence of a £75m cash injection from their Chinese owner Sanpower, which bought the chain in 2014.

Frank Slevin, executive chairman, said: ‘It’s very difficult to say there’s been under investment in the business when we have tripled the level of investment over the last few years.

‘There’s nothing we have wanted for over the last two years. We have refurbished stores. But if there’s a particular project we want to seek parental support for we will go and see it. But at this point of time we haven’ t found it necessary to do so.’

While there was no investment from its Chinese owners, House of Fraser did refinance in August 2015 to take on £50m of debt.

When Sanpower, led by founder Yuan Yafei, bought the chain it came with promises of a wide-ranging expansion in China.

The first sign of this has come with the refurbishment of an existing store in Nanjing, which a further one on the way.

But rather than commit the 50 stores first touted when the deal was announced, Slevin said he wanted to open 20 over the next five years.

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