There's worrying news for the £300m council-driven Northgate Development after the retailer behind its flagship store announced it had brought in turnaround specialists.
House of Fraser are signed up to deliver the anchor store in the city centre regeneration project which would include 50 new shops, about 15 new cafés and restaurants, the city’s largest car park and 120 homes.
But now the department store chain has called in KPMG to advise on a restructuring plan which could involve store closures and job losses.
It is being reported options could even include a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in a deal to ensure creditors get paid.
The announcement comes on the back of gloomy profit news at Debenhams which operates Browns of Chester and a store at Cheshire Oaks .
House of Fraser has 59 stores, 6,000 staff and 11,500 concession staff.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the chain could only confirm KPMG had been appointed by House of Fraser to explore various options.
Much of the news from the High Street is negative at the moment.
Toys R Us and Maplin, both represented at Chester Retail Park, have gone into administration and their stores will close shortly. While in Chester city centre the 248-year-old Lowe & Sons jewellers will be shutting its doors later this month.
New Look and Carpetright have both entered into CVAs.
House of Fraser was bought by a Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in 2014.
But the chain had its credit rating downgraded in December and suffered a disappointing 2017 Christmas with reported requests for rent cuts at some of its stores.
A House of Fraser spokesman said: "We can confirm KPMG have been appointed by House of Fraser to explore various options in order to continue the transformation programme announced last year.
"Regarding specific stores or the development, there is no comment, I'm afraid."
The Chronicle has also approached Cheshire West and Chester Council for a comment about what the news means for the Northgate Development.
CWaC is awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry considering a Compulsory Purchase Order to buy up 70 properties in the regeneration area as well as applications to move the market and carry out changes to the highway. The ultimate decision rests with the Secretary of State.