Debenhams flagship store to close

Debenhams has closed five stores amid the pandemic, which will affect 320 jobs across the UK.

In what should have been temporary closures, the retailer cannot open stores amid the new restrictions to sell the remaining stock.

Of the five stores to close is the group’s flagship store on Oxford Street. Other stores include those in Portsmouth, Staines, Harrogate, Weymouth, Worcester.

FRP Advisory is the Debenhams administrator.

Geoff Rowley, a partner at FRP Advisory, said: “We continue to engage with interested parties over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams, but inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business.

“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,” he added.

News of the department store’s collapse came in December, soon after the collapse of Arcadia.

“All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams,” said Rowley at the time.

“However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.”