Mike Ashley’s Middlesbrough department store will close as it announces its closure with sale signs

A department store in Middlesbrough has announced it is closing.

Signs have been spotted outside House of Fraser on Linthorpe Road revealing the huge department store will be closing. Signs say there’s 20% off everything.

The posters also confirm that the shop will close in July this year. The branch’s closure will make it the second department store to leave Middlesbrough town center in the past two years, with the Debenhams store just opposite House of Fraser closing in May 2021 after 110 years in the town.

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It is not the first time that the closure of the House of Fraser store in Middlesbrough has been announced, as the store was due to close before the brand went into administration in 2018.

The store, formerly known as Binns and a landmark in Middlesbrough town centre, was later bought by billionaire Mike Ashley, and the closure was called off.

In July 2020 Middlesbrough Council bought the building for £1m when acquiring Captain Cook Square, and in 2021 an ITV News report suggested House of Fraser failed to pay any rent since the council took over the site. At the time, Middlesbrough City Council declined to say whether the store had paid rent.

Mike Ashley’s company also recently bought Middlesbrough designer department store Psyche and owns Sports Direct and Flannels in the town centre.

Sale closing signs were spotted in the huge department store

The store’s official closing date has not yet been announced, nor the reason for the closure.

House of Fraser started life as Binns – and even survived a world war and two major fires.

It first traded on Corporation Road opposite the Odeon and was the target of an air raid in 1942.

It moved to a state-of-the-art store on the corner of Linthorpe Road and Newport Road in 1957. It was described in press reports at the time as the “best in the country” and “Teesside’s answer to New York”.

A former clothier, H Binns Son & Co Ltd was established in 1897 in Sunderland and grew rapidly with the acquisition and extension of the premises of clothiers Darlington Arthur Sanders Ltd, in High Row.

A Middlesbrough store followed a year later, and a branch in Hartlepool – the former Gray Peverell & Co Ltd, a clothing and furnishing store.

In April 1953 Binns Ltd was taken over by House of Fraser Ltd but would retain its name for another 50 years.

In 1993 the struggling Sunderland store that launched the empire closed, but Binns in Middlesbrough survived, eventually becoming House of Fraser in 2006.

Teesside Live has contacted House of Fraser for comment.