About Us

  • Introduction
  • Heritage
  • Vision & Values
  • Our Responsibilities
  • Hot News
  • Interesting Facts
House of Fraser There has never been a better time to join

House of Fraser has an illustrious past and an ambitious future. We have been delivering retail excellence to customers across the UK for over 160 years and are proud to have a wide portfolio of stores that all have a unique, individual story to tell.

Whether you visit a heritage store firmly steeped in history such as Jenners in Edinburgh, or a new store like Westfield, you’ll see that we aim to push boundaries, embrace innovation and strive towards the same vision:

To be the premium department store of choice and make every customer feel like a VIP.

Since the acquisition by the Highland Group in 2006, we have invested heavily in our store formats to deliver some of the most inspirational shopping environments in the world.

We have focused on developing a premium product offer, with iconic brand names such as Linea and BIBA, offering quality and exclusivity and we continue to work closely with our brand partners to ensure our offer is the best on the high street.

We're also investing in the rapid growth of our multichannel offer, with the ongoing development of our online web-store, houseoffraser.co.uk, as well as the recent introduction of our Buy and Collect and Order In store services.

Central to our success is our people. We can offer a wide range of opportunities, and through providing a clear career path with support and development, you’ll be able to drive your career forward.

Heritage

Hugh Frase starts out

Our history starts more than 160 years ago on 17th October 1849, when James Arthur and Hugh Fraser opened a drapery shop at the corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fraser Sons & Co was established in 1875 and by 1892 the business was controlled by his sons; James, John and Hugh. In 1927, Hugh Fraser (the grandson) took control of Fraser Sons & Co.

Binns and Harrods

Worried about the intrusions into Glasgow by other firms, Fraser Sons & Co purchased Arnotts & Co, Robert Simpson & Sons and then Thomas Muirhead & Co in the years 1936 - 1937.

Hugh named this new group of companies ‘House of Fraser’.

Further aquisitions

In 1953 Binns Ltd was acquired which had stores in Scotland, north-east England, Dumfries and Carlise. In 1957, Barkers was added to the group.

On 7 September 1959, House of Fraser won control of Harrods.

In recognition of Hugh Fraser’s achievements, he was made a Sir in 1961 and in 1964 was granted the title Lord Fraser of Allander.

House of Fraser PLC

Throughout the seventies, House of Fraser continued to make further acquisitions.

House of Fraser (Stores) Ltd was created in 1980 and was made responsible for the operation of all of the group’s stores.

In 1985, the Fayed’s took over House of Fraser at a value of £615m. House of Fraser became a public limited company again in 1994, having been floated on the stock exchange for £484m and a major refurbishment programme began.

House of Fraser house brands are launched

In 1996, the group opens a new store in Swindon and a fully refurbished store in Leeds.

In 1997, House of Fraser launches house brands – Linea Womenswear and Menswear, and Nottingham opens.

In 1999, Bluewater and Reading open, and in 2000 Linea Home and Therapy launch.

Jenners, Bentalls and Beatties are acquired

In 2001, Bentalls in Bristol is acquired and in 2003 London City store opens.

New stores launch in Ireland’s Dundrum and in Norwich in 2005.

House of Fraser building
The Highland Group Aquisition

Jenners and Beatties department stores are acquired in 2006.

The Highland Consortium acquired House of Fraser in November 2006. Led by Executive Chairman Don McCarthy and Chief Executive John King who now lead a team of highly experienced Executive Directors, with a broad range of expertise both in the UK and internationally.

The immediate changes introduced following the acquisition included:

  • The introduction of house brands to the business
  • Significant investment in branding and marketing
  • The commitment to modernise 2.5 million square feet of selling space and begin opening new stores
House of Fraser building
Making House of Fraser the premium department store in the UK and Ireland

2008 saw the beginnings of the global economic crisis that severely impacted the UK retail sector.

Despite this, The Highland Group continued to invest in the House of Fraser brand – believing in the brand’s heritage and important role within British society – and embarked upon a competitive and challenging development strategy.

This mid-to-long-term view has resulted in an effective forward thinking roadmap that has re-ignited interest in the House of Fraser offering.

Key activities have included:

  • Continued additions of new brands across all categories
  • Further investment in stores with new shopfits and treatments across the group. In particular, the modernisation of 2.5 million square feet of selling space and the opening of four new stores since 2007; High Wycombe, Belfast, Westfield London and Bristol
  • Significant investment in both national and local marketing, with a focus on our differentiated branded offer
  • The launch of a fully transactional website with over 850 brands, making us a true multi-channel retailer
  • The expansion of the House of Fraser brand overseas with planned future international store openings
  • The Launch of our Company Vision and Values
  • High profile collaborations, including Mary Portas and Robbie Williams
  • October 2011 saw the launch of the first new concept store in Aberdeen, with more to follow

For more up to date news please visit our Hot News section

And now, as we look forward, we firmly believe that House of Fraser is on track to become the premium department store of choice in the UK & Ireland.

After more than 160 years of excellence, House of Fraser is well positioned for many, many more.

Vision & Values - The heart of our business

The future direction of our business is built on our Vision, Values and the Strategic Pillars.

Our company vision gives shape and direction to our future:

Our values define what we believe is important in the way we behave and work.

Be the premium department store of choice and make every customer feel like a VIP

Our Values are:

ALWAYS PUT THE CUSTOMER FIRST

USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO EXCITE AND INSPIRE

RESPECT EACH OTHER AND WORK AS ONE TEAM

OWN THE EXTRA MILE

BE YOU AT YOUR BEST

The Strategic Pillars provide us with immediate focus and direction for the business. These will evolve over time in line with the business priorities.

Vision and Values along with the Strategic Pillars sets the scene for how we behave and operate throughout the organisation to ensure we make every customer feel like a VIP and maximize every opportunity.

CLICK TO VIEW MORE +

Our Responsibilities

We offer a wide range of goods encompassing clothing, home furnishings, gifts, cosmetics, footwear and food. To create and produce this range of products most suppliers (including ourselves) have their own complex supply chains and we aim to understand the diverse components within them. We are committed to ensuring that both we and our suppliers continuously look at ways of improving working standards and the effect we and they have on the environment.

Our Responsible Buying Policy gives due consideration to:

  • People & Culture
  • Labour & Human Rights
  • The Environment
  • The Community

People and Culture

Both our customers and staff are extremely important to us. The majority of our stores are Disability Discrimination Act compliant and where our older stores could not be adapted to suit all of our customers, our staff are trained to provide our disabled customers with personal assistance where the store prevents a disabled customer full access. We also have hearing loops in place at tills indicated with a hearing loop sign.

We are an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to ensuring that no employee or applicant is treated less favourably on the grounds of race, religion, gender, ethnic origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

Labour & Human Rights

We acknowledge the importance of responsible sourcing and the promotion of fair and safe working conditions within our supply chain and have introduced various policies and green practices to ensure our products in store reflect our stance.

Fairtrade

The Fairtrade Foundation seeks to improve the position of poor and marginalised producers in the developing world, by encouraging industry and consumers in the United Kingdom to support fairer trade. The Fairtrade Mark is awarded to producers of a wide range of products that meet a clear set of internationally recognised standards. Monitoring systems are in place to ensure that the Fairtrade principles and criteria are met and that individual producers benefit from the trading terms. Only products licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation can carry the Fairtrade Certification Mark. Currently we stock Christy fairtrade cotton towels but there are more exciting products to come.

The Environment

Our responsible buying policy aims to embrace the key characteristics of an environmentally responsible business by sourcing environmentally friendly products where possible.

Animal Welfare

House of Fraser remains committed to improving animal welfare standards on all product areas within the business. Suppliers are required to take responsibility for the standard of animal welfare within their supply chain and are encouraged, where practical to implement industry best practice standards. House of Fraser discourages the use of cruel practices in the procurement of any animal product.

Animal Fur

We have a strict no-fur policy and will not accept any non-food animal products unless they are a by-product of the meat industry.

Animal Testing

We do not test or ask our suppliers or any other organisation to test our private label products on animals.

Endangered Species

We do not knowingly source or sell products or ingredients from endangered species – We support CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. We understand the concerns of animal welfare groups and our customers and on the occasion where we do sell a product or ingredient that may prove controversial, we ensure that the supplier only uses farmed sources and provides a CITES certificate before we buy the product or ingredient.

Organics

Organic standards require organic farms to be managed in a way that produces healthy food and produce, while also caring for the welfare of farm animals and the environment. Organic farming delivers a wide range of benefits: Working in balance with natural systems; Consideration for the wider social and ecological impact of farming systems; the encouragement of existing biological cycles involving flora, fauna, plants and animals; and careful attention to animal welfare.

Current organic products can be found in:

  • Various products across our Linea range
  • Aveda cosmetics
  • Organic Apoteke cosmetics
  • Green Baby and Po.p. Childrenswear, and
  • Boaters Coffee gift products, with more exciting products to be introduced.

Packaging & Signage

We provide free carrier bags for our customers to take their purchases home in, however, in order to reduce the demand for bags all customers are asked if they require a bag when making a purchase. Our everyday bags are produced using recycled paper and are 100% recyclable themselves. Only water based inks are used and the bags are printed and produced in the UK thereby reducing our carbon footprint by using fewer transport miles. Our luxury carrier bags are made using paper from managed forests. They are weatherproof and are designed to be durable and re-usable. The luxury carrier bags available in our Dundrum, Eire store are unlaminated in order to comply with Irish regulations, and are also 100% recyclable. Our polythene sale bags are composed of 25% recycled polythene in line with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs retailer's initiative to reduce the environmental impact of carrier bags by 25% by the end of 2008. The signage used throughout our stores is produced on 75% recycled material and does not have a laminated finish. We ask our stores to re-use signage wherever possible so as to reduce cost and waste and we encourage our brand partners to follow the same policy wherever possible. You will find the recycle sign on any of our packaging produced in this way and we will soon be introducing 'Bags for Life'.

Out Timber Sourcing Policy

The intention of our TSP is to encourage the promotion and enhancement of environmental sustainability and good forest management within our supply chain. We have chosen ProForest as our monitoring partner. ProForest (www.proforest.net) is an independent company working with natural resource management and with their assistance we have committed to progressively sourcing from credibly certified legal and well-managed forest sources and supporting the continual improvement of responsible timber sourcing by our suppliers.

Waste Electrical

WEEE is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, growing by at least 5% each year. The UK disposes of 1.2 million tonnes of electrical and electronic waste every year from the public alone. Each and every year, this is the equivalent of: 150,000 double-decker buses; 162 Eiffel towers; 200,000 African elephants; or 444,444 Range Rovers. The WEEE Directive sets out measures for collecting waste electrical and electronic equipment for recovery, recycling and re–use. The UK currently produces about 900,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic waste each year. This includes a wide range of items from TVs and fridges to computers and children's toys. Under this legislation, it is the responsibility of the retailer to meet a 'Consumer Information Obligation ('CIO'). This obliges retailers to inform customers as to the availability of WEEE collection facilities throughout the UK, and assist in developing their knowledge of recycling issues surrounding WEEE. So that our customers can get their waste electrical goods recycled, we contribute towards a national fund to assist local councils to further develop their existing waste electronics collection facilities. In order to assist customers in remembering that electronic goods can be recycled and therefore should not be placed in the general waste, all products of this type are now marked with a crossed out wheeled bin symbol. Please help us to minimise the effect we have on the environment by recycling your waste electrical goods. You can find the nearest recycling points and helpful recycling tips for electrical goods by visiting www.recycle-more.co.uk

The Community

As an established and trusted retailer located nationwide, we understand we have an important role to play. Community is the fabric of our society and we believe that we should give back and be active within the communities in which we trade.

We have built long standing relationships with local charities in many locations and reach out to those who most need our help.

There are often smaller, less high profile organisations, and we encourage our store staff to get involved in any way they feel is appropriate.

Much of the time it's not just about raising funds, it tends equally to be about raising the awareness and profile of the local charity.

For example, in Cardiff we have been long standing supporters of children's hospice Ty Hafen - who offer comfort, care and support for life-limited children, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the entire family. In Belfast we have partnered with Action Cancer, whose dedicated team of staff work across the whole of Northern Ireland helping save lives and supporting people affected by cancer. In Glasgow we have been fundraising for both the Beatson institute for Cancer research, and York Hill children's hospital for some considerable time.

Stories like these are not uncommon in our stores throughout the country.

On a national level we have been long standing supporters of Retail Trust - the charitable arm of the retail industry. Retail Trust is there for those who have fallen on hard times, and we have donated well in excess of £1m in recent years.

We also continue to support 'Walk the Walk', and most recently, The Royal Marsden 'Our Plan Appeal', where we are well on our way to raising £1million towards a new teenage cancer wing at their Sutton hospital.

House of Fraser supports the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA) by offering members of our team to spend time with the FRA team to ensure that their course material is absolutely up-to-date and in-line with current industry best practice. We do this because we feel passionately about the work the FRA undertake and we want to support them in their mission “to inspire and prepare learners for a working life in the fashion retail industry”. We understand that university places are increasingly hard to come by and with the rise in tuition fees more students who want to further their education are set with the difficult task of finding alternative routes to career entry and success.

Hot News

NEW OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE BUSINESS INCENTIVES TEAM

Our business incentives team are responsible for driving sales of the House of Fraser Gift-card both in-store and to external partners. This area provides a significant area of additional sales and.... More >

CAREERS WEBSITE LAUNCHED TO STORES

We are excited to have completed the second phase of our careers website with more fantastic improvements happening in 2013. After months of testing, we have rolled our careers site to all stores.... More >

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Interesting Facts

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