House of Fraser shuts butcher counter

House of Fraser in Birmingham is shutting its butcher and delicatessen counters after 120 years of trading, as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

A spokesperson said: “House of Fraser is continuously looking at ways to manage its business more efficiently and, as part of this strategy, has conducted a review of the Birmingham Food Hall in order to reduce costs. Part of the Birmingham Food Hall will close in order to make way for an extended ‘food on the go concept’ as well as beer, wine, spirits and confectionery department.”

The move highlights the decline in profitability of the store’s meat counter. Only three years ago, House of Fraser dropped its long-term producer, local sausage-maker AW Lashford and Sons, in favour of a collaboration with TV farmer Jimmy Doherty.

However, Doherty’s concession does not seem to have been enough to turn around the fortunes of the ailing butcher’s counter, which faces competition from other major retailers in the area.

The move may result in a small number of redundancies and the company is currently in a formal period of consultation with staff affected by the proposed changes. A closing date will not be set until this process has been completed.

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