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Debenhams to permanently close 6 stores, 320 jobs affected

By Huw Hughes

Jan. 13, 2021

Debenhams has announced it will permanently close six stores, including its Oxford Street flagship, resulting in 320 redundancies.

The other affected stores are in Portsmouth, Staines, Harrogate, Weymouth, Worcester, and London. Staff at those stores were informed of the news last week.

Debenhams began winding down its business at the beginning of December with the plan to eventually close all 124 of its stores. Since then, the business has continued to trade in-store and online to clear its current and contracted stocks.

“While it remains our intention to reopen as many stores as possible to complete the stock liquidation, which continues online, the announcement of a renewed national lockdown last week means that a number of stores where we have been unable to agree lease extensions will be permanently closed,” the retailer said in a statement Wednesday.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and Partner at FRP Advisory, said that talks between interested parties “over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams” are still ongoing, but added that “inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business”.

Rowley continued: “We regret the impact on those colleagues affected by today’s announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”

Photo credit: Debenhams