The House of Fraser name was once a jewel of high streets across the country – a department store steeped in history, which typified style and variety.
But like so many before it – including Woolworths, Toys R Us and, most recently, Poundworld – it has fallen victim to the rise in discount stores and the shift in consumer habits from physical purchase to online shopping.
The future once looked so bright. A series of marquee acquisitions over a 50-year period in the middle of the 20th century saw the company’s portfolio blossom, offering customers an everything-under-one-roof shopping experience that allowed people to browse for wedding gifts, homeware, beauty products and designer clothes, all within the same four walls.
It was a far cry from its humble beginnings as a small drapery shop in Glasgow in 1849, the brainchild of farmer’s son Hugh Fraser and small business owner James Arthur.
The name Arthur & Fraser was born, and could be found on the corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street in the Scottish city.
A century later, and after the wholesale business splintered from the retail side, the firm had grown to become a national chain known as House of Fraser.