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Debenhams confirms closing date of final 49 stores

By Huw Hughes

6 May 2021


Image: Debenhams

Debenhams has confirmed its remaining 49 stores will permanently close on either May 12 or 15.

It comes after the retailer temporarily reopened its stores in England and Wales when lockdown eased last month to complete its final closing down sale.

The fashion retailer had already announced the permanent closure dates of 52 stores up to Saturday May 8.

In March, Debenhams announced the permanent closure of its 15 stores in Scotland, resulting in 647 redundancies.

End of an era

“Over the next 10 days, Debenhams will close its doors on the high street for the final time in its 242 year history,” a Debenhams spokesperson said in a statement.

“Our sincere thanks go out to all of our colleagues and customers who have joined us on this journey. We hope to see you all one last time in stores before we say a final goodbye to the UK high street.”

Debenhams went into liquidation late last year after a rescue deal for the iconic department store chain fell through. The company had been struggling for years to keep up with online competitors, and the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent store closures delivered the final blow.

In January, the company was acquired by fast-fashion group Boohoo for 55 million pounds. The deal included the brand and website of the high street stalwart, but not its store estate.

Boohoo CEO John Lyttle said at the time: “The acquisition of the Debenhams brand is an important development for the group, as we seek to capture incremental growth opportunities arising from the accelerating shift to online retail.

“The acquisition represents an exciting strategic opportunity to transform our target addressable market through the creation of an online marketplace that leverages Debenhams’ high brand awareness and traffic through the development of beauty and fashion partnerships connecting brands with consumers.”