7 June 2018 KPMG has said that ‘mounting pressures’ on the high street are responsible for House of Fraser’s decision to close 31 of its 59 department stores. 6,000 jobs will be affected in an attempt to rescue the company. Fraser’s department stores have been present on Britain’s high streets for decades, but they are facing mounting costs and competitive pressures from out of town retailers and online retailing. The closures will take place in 2019 if the plan is approved by creditors. The creditors will vote on June 22. House of Fraser's Chinese owners Nanjing Cenbest have reached a conditional agreement to sell a 51% stake to C.banner, another Chinese group. C.banner already owns the London toy store Hamley's but the sale is conditional on the restructuring plan being approved. “Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable cost base which, without restructuring, presents an existential threat to the business;" said Frank Slevin, House of Fraser’s chairman. He contends that closing stores is “difficult …” but “absolutely necessary if we are to continue to trade and be competitive".
Question What is putting pressure on the British high street? What do C.banner require before they buy Fraser’s? What is happening in retail businesses in your country?
Vocabulary Can you create sentences using these words and phrases? Highlight below for definitions.
the high street – traditional city-centre shopping locations mounting – increasing to face – to be challenged by creditors – people or organisations owed money by the company conditional on – will not happen unless ??? happens legacy store estate – buildings purchased in the past and still in use unsustainable – cannot be maintained or kept going existential threat – a threat to existence
Grammar There are four examples of the present perfect used in the text. Can you find them and identify why they are used? KPMG has said that ‘mounting pressures’ … Fraser’s department stores have been present on Britain’s … Nanjing Cenbest have reached a conditional agreement to … “Our legacy store estate has created an unsustainable …
Solution: there are no time indicators in these sentences. We simply know that the events happened in the past, at some point, but we do not know when. This is a use of the present perfect.