Japanese lifestyle retailer Muji is reportedly in talks with House of Fraser to sublet a sizeable chunk of its flagship Oxford Street store.
It is believed that talks are taking place directly between Muji in Japan and House of Fraser’s Chinese shareholder, Nanjing Cenbest, which is part of the Sanpower group.
According to Property Week, Muji is interested in subletting 20,000 sq ft of basement space at the Oxford Street store, which is currently home to House of Fraser’s shoe department and which has its own entrance.
Struggling department store House of Fraser is in the midst of a CVA proposal to enable it to close some of its 59 stores and seek rent reductions on others. The CVA would form part of a refinancing deal in which Nanjing Cenbest would offload its 51.9% stake in the business to C.banner, another Chinese group which owns British toy retailer Hamleys.
Muji, which sells stationery, homewares and clothing, is said to be keen to open a large-scale UK store, in the style of those it operates in Asia, which often include gardening sections and cafes. It already has a store at 187 Oxford Street, which is one of 12 it operates in the UK, nine of which are in London with further stores in Guildford, Birmingham and Manchester.