Beatties in Birmingham has been battered and bruised in a five-year heavyweight brawl.
Opened to a stampede of customers on September 1, 2001, the Corporation Street store is no stranger to the uncompromising battle for a profitable niche in a tough marketplace.
Finance director Bill Kelly gave the first hint of a question mark over the viability of the business when he told The Birmingham Post, in September 2003, two years after the store launched: "We will have have to wait and see what happens after 18 months".
Mr Kelly was speaking after the opening of the new Bullring, explaining that he wanted to establish what trade Birmingham city centre could sustain.
Now, 18 months on, the Wolverhampton-based 12-strong Beatties chain looks certain to be bought by Harrods' owner House of Fraser for £69.4 million.
And House of Fraser, which has a store which sits just a 100 yards up the road from Beatties on Corporation Street, has said it would take "prompt action" to tackle the loss- making Birmingham store.
All but one of the other stores, which include, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield, are profitable.
House of Fraser chief executive John Coleman said it was almost inevitable job losses would follow in broad terms across the group following the "merger" of two groups.
He said prompt action would be taken to tackle the Birmingham business - which employed 500 when it opened --but could not say whether one option was to close the business or whether jobs would go at the store.
He said: "I'd like to concentrate on the positive and say that Beatties has a very strong customer franchise across the Midlands and we are confident of success."
Beatties was founded by James Beattie in 1877 when he opened a small draper's shop in Wolverhampton with £300.
By 1895, it had annual sales of £30,000.
It also has sites at Wolverhampton, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Aylesbury, Birkenhead, Burton, Huddersfield, Northampton, Dudley, Telford and Worcester.
It will continue - once the sale has been ratified by shareholders - to operate under its existing brand name, but benefit from the addition of House of Fraser ranges, Mr Coleman added.
The Beatties' building in Birmingham was born for £7.3 million out of the former C&A store at a time of great retail optimism for department stores in the city - Debenhams and Selfridges were set to be launched and the Bullring was growing.
But in 2002 the business was reportedly struggling to get off the ground due to "horrendous" road works putting off shoppers.
In July of the same year the Beattie group said a fall in half-year profits was partly due to the performance of the Birmingham store.
A spokesman said rail and road problems were hitting business.
In September the plan was reported to be to drive more profit out of declining sales though expansion of floor space.
Christmas 2003 proved gloomy, with the store performing below expectations as city centre regeneration created what was described as "commercial chaos."
The group raised further doubts about the store in January 2004 as the Bullring hit performance and the store continued to trade below expectations.
In April 2004, it was that revealed sales at the Birmingham store had fallen by ten per cent during the year to January.
Chris Jones, then chairman and managing director, said: "We believe we can trade our way out of it."
Brian Heilbron was announced as new chief executive in November 2004, taking post earlier this year.
Recent weeks have been rife with speculation of a House of Fraser buy out of Beatties.
A spokeswoman said the company had targeted more contemporary ranges and fashions such as French Connection, Ben Sherman, and Warehouse while maintaining its focus on "discerning ladies and gentlemen" with brands such as Jacques Vert and Country Casuals.
Divisional Officer for shops union Usdaw Gary Holz said his "primary concern was for the security of jobs in the Beatties chain and particularly in Birmingham."
The sale proposal is still subject to shareholder approval but has already been backed by the board of Beatties.
As well as the opportunity to "significantly" improve profits at the Beatties business, House of Fraser said it believed certain properties in the estate were worth more than their book values.
James Beattie reported a decline in pretax profit last year to £4.2 million from £5.2 million in 2004 as it struggled to compete with larger groups such as John Lewis and House of Fraser.
The company has been further hurt in recent months by a sharp slowdown in consumer spending.
House of Fraser say the sale will go to shareholders at the end of August.
The future of Beatties in Birmingham could be decided soon after.