Debenhams has announced that six of its sites will no longer reopen this year, as part of the group’s ongoing winding down and stock liquidation process.
In a statement released today (13 January), the group confirmed the move will affect 320 roles within its business.
Debenhams said that while it maintains its intention to “reopen as many stores as possible” to complete its stock liquidation, the announcement of a renewed national lockdown last week meant it had no option but to close a number of stores where it has been unable to agree lease extensions.
Among the stores set to close are outlets in Portsmouth, Staines, Harrogate, Weymouth, Worcester and its flagship Oxford Street store.
However, it confirmed the Oxford street closure will not affect staff at the group’s London Support Centre – which sits above it – other than that they will continue to work remotely.
In its latest update, Debenhams confirmed that its administrator, FRP Advisory, will continue to hold discussions with a “number” of third parties regarding a potential sale of all or parts of the business.
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and 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.”
Debenhams has previously garnered interest from both the US-based Authentic Brands and Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group throughout December, but a deal has yet to materialise.