House of Fraser has admitted to having just 11 days to save 17,000 jobs as the retailer scrambles to secure a lifeline before its cash runs dry.
The stricken department store chain must pull in fresh funding by August 20 or risk collapse through a failure to pay its bills.
The deadline outlined by the retailer is when a number of suppliers must be paid, including a raft of in-store concessions.
It was revealed in a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where its bonds are listed, underscoring how little time bosses have left to save the business.
It’s the credit insurers that matter. If they’ll not insure suppliers then they’ll need cash before delivery. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s just that moving from – say and for example – 120 days payment terms to cash before delivery swallows vast amounts of working capital.
Which is, of course, the very thing HoF ain’t got.
This isn’t to insist upon a 100% track record but often enough it’s those credit insurers who pull the plug on retail.
As to whether HoF should go. Well, department stores? Mixed retail in expensive and premium High Street locations? Entirely possible that this business idea itself is just dead.