Last month it was revealed that House of Fraser had turned its Corporation Street location in the heart of Birmingham into an outlet store.
Owner Frasers Group has shut almost half of the 59 House of Fraser stores it acquired in 2018, with only 33 shops remaining in the UK.
The changes to the Birmingham store represents another blow for the city’s retail scene, which said goodbye to John Lewis after it closed its Grand Central flagship in 2022 after just three years.
House of Fraser Birmingham was once the go-store department store in the city centre.
The store first opened back in 2003, the same year that the famous Bullring shopping centre launched in the city, and once had a foodhall and beauty department that rivalled the likes of Selfridges.
As a Brummie myself, the store played a huge part of my childhood, and many a weekend was spent accompanying my mum as she browsed the beauty hall.
Now what’s left is a rather depressing ghost of the former store, which once seemed so glamorous.
Twenty per cent off signs are plastered across the exterior and interior of the store on every single floor, alongside messages of ‘all stock must go’.
Meanwhile, portable heaters are dotted around the lower floors to heat the store.
The shop is a far cry from just a few years back, with the in-house bar closed and jumble Sale-style boxes left for people to go through.
Arguably the most concerning fact is that the store was deadly quiet when visiting over the weekend, showing that not even cut-price deals are attracting shoppers.
READ MORE: As House of Fraser closes more stores, what’s next for the business?
This is in stark contrast to nearby Selfridges, where hordes of shoppers are milling around the store. Or indeed to Frasers Group’s own Sports Direct and Flannels stores, which both have impressive outposts in Birmingham.
The House of Fraser Outlet has the feel of a store that is simply waiting to close down, which may well be in its owners plans.
Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter