‘Britain’s worst-lit store’ set to close

WHAT'S BEEN dubbed ‘Britain’s worst lit store’ is set to close, it has been announced.

Damaged luminaires, misplaced lamps and exposed cabling at Rackhams department store in Yorkshire. The store was starved of investment funds.

Rackhams department store in Skipton, North Yorkshire, is one of 31 stores owned by the troubled House of Fraser group earmarked to close as part of a restructuring plan.

The outlet has come under fire from lighting professionals in recent years for its poor illumination. The lack of maintenance and investment in the store may partly be explained by today’s announcement.

It was criticised for poor illumination of the merchandise and for damaged and ageing luminaires, exposed cabling and mix of light sources. Rackhams was dubbed ‘Britain’s worst lit store’.

Originally a branch of Amblers department stores, the business was bought by Brown Muff in 1961 and then acquired by House of Fraser in 1977 and renamed Rackhams.

The closure is part of the proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement, which will require approval from creditors who will make their decision on June 22.

Staff at the building have already been informed about the impact of jobs by the plans.

Frank Slevin, chairman of House of Fraser, told the press: ‘The retail industry is undergoing fundamental change and House of Fraser urgently needs to adapt to this fast-changing landscape in order to give it a future and allow it to thrive’.

House of Fraser is one of a number of high street names to announce store closures this year as the retail sector grapples with the rapid rise of online shopping.

While flagship outlets continue to be fitted with interiors that put an emphasis on the shopping experience, so-called legacy stores, such as Rackhams, can be starved of investment.

Some retailers have been known to postpone lighting upgrades to save money and some outlets, as at Rackhams, have retained out-dated lighting in the form of traditional fluorescent and halogen fittings rather than pay the capital investment in energy-saving LED lighting.

One high street name recently put in an order for £100,000 worth of ceramic metal halide lamps rather than upgrade to LED.


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