Mike Ashley’s recent sacking of the senior management team at House of Fraser follows a commitment to turn the store into the ‘Harrods of the High Street’. It’s a boast reflective of the Sports Direct founder’s famously bold approach to business.
In a similar vein to Sir Philip Green a generation before him, Ashley is very much the public face of his growing retail empire and is clearly not shirking decision-making. Despite his statements of intent, the fact remains that House of Fraser entered administration looking like a busted flush. Its confused proposition lacks any real relevance or punch and feels anachronistic, in much the same as Woolworths did a decade or so ago.
To save the brand and return it to profit, a fundamental creative re-invention will need to take place. Creativity needs to play a role in every part of resuscitating the brand - from its product line to its customer experience, from what it stands for, to its staff culture.
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