THREE national names on Dorset’s high streets have their fates hanging in the balance as the crisis in retail continues.

Research published yesterday suggested another 175,000 jobs could be lost in Britain’s shops this year, with 23,000 stores expected to close.

There is still no word about what will happen to Bournemouth’s major branch of House of Fraser, which at one point was due to close in early 2019.

Meanwhile, local branches of HMV and Patisserie Valerie face uncertain futures as efforts continue to rescue the struggling businesses.

Bournemouth’s House of Fraser was due to shut early this year under a previous deal aimed at rescuing the business.

But the business was subsequently bought out of administration by Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, who said he would keep as many stores open as possible, adding: “My ambition is to transform House of Fraser into the Harrods of the high street.”

The Daily Echo understands that staff at the Bournemouth branch have not been told anything about the fate of the branch.

The Bournemouth branch has been a fixture in the town since 1871, originally called Bright’s and then Dingles.

Mike Ashley has also emerged as a possible buyer for music and video chain HMV, which went into administration after Christmas.

He is one of “a number” of bidders to have submitted bids for the business. He is said to have spoken with music and video industry figures, who would lose their last national high street retailer if the business disappeared.

Buying the business out of administration would give a new owner the chance to keep profitable branches. The chain has stores in Poole’s Dolphin Centre and Bournemouth’s Avenue Centre. A branch at Castlepoint closed after a previous spell in administration in 2013.

Will Wright, partner with administrator KPMG, said: “We will continue to endeavour to trade all stores while discussions with all the relevant stakeholders continue.”

Patisserie Valerie, which has a branch in Bournemouth’s Post Office Road, said yesterday it was still in talks with lenders after “devastating” irregularities in its accounts brought it close to collapse.

The firm said it is in discussions with HSBC and Barclays to extend a standstill agreement on its debts which expired last week.

Last week, Patisserie, chaired by Luke Johnson, revealed that it had hired advisers at KPMG to carry out a review of all options.

It also unveiled the “devastating” extent of irregularities in its books, which included thousands of false entries into the company’s ledgers.

In figures published yesterday, real estate adviser Altus Group said the value of retail property would tumble by 15.9 per cent.

The high street crisis would claim 175,000 jobs, on top of the 150,000 that were lost to the industry last year.