Debenhams to close all 124 shops putting 12,000 jobs at risk as rescue talks fail

DEBENHAMS is set to close all of its 124 shops permanently and disappear from the high street after rescue talks to save the chain failed.

The business is set to be liquidated after JDSports pulled out of bids to save the troubled department store chain, putting 12,000 workers at risk.

JD Sports was the last remaining bidder for Debenhams, which has been in administration since April.

The 242-year-old retailer had been considering a potential sale since the summer after it went into administration in April for the second time in a year.

Debenhams has already cut 6,500 jobs since May. It currently has 12,000 workers. 

Its shops will remain open until current stock is sold and it’s believed that stores will close early next year. 

It is understood that the collapse of the deal is partly linked to the administration of Arcadia, which is the biggest operator of concessions in Debenhams stores.

Arcadia collapsed into administration on Monday evening, casting a shadow over its own 13,000 workers and 444 stores.

Arcadia's brands include Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topman, Topshop and Wallis.

Coronavirus restrictions and the closure of non-essential shops have put immense pressure on retailers and the high street this year. 

In mid-August, more than 43,000 retail jobs had been axed since the start of coronavirus lockdown.

Retailers such as Aldo, Jaeger, Oasis, Peacocks and Warehouse haveall collapsed since the pandemic began.

And in March, Laura Ashley collapsed into administration after talks to rescue the chain failed for the same reason.

In a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange, JD Sports said: "JD Sports Fashion confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated."

Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, joint administrator to Debenhams, said: "All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams.

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

"While we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action."

Source: Read Full Article