Which Debenhams stores are closing and when will they shut?
25 January 2021, 11:52 | Updated: 25 January 2021, 15:13
Debenhams closures: which Debenhams stores are affected and why are they closing?
It has now been confirmed that Boohoo had bought Debenhams in a £55 million deal with administrators.
The website, customer data, as well as related business information and selected contracts are included in the deal, but the high street stores are not.
This means, therefore, that all Debenhams stores are expected to close for good.
Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle said: "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.
"We have developed a successful multi-brand direct-to-consumer platform that continues to disrupt the markets that we operate in.
"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."
Here's what we know so far.
Which Debenhams stores are closing?
All 118 Debenhams stores are expected to close following the move.
It is as yet unclear how many of the 12,000 Debenhams staff will be affected by the closures.
What will happen to the Debenhams website?
Boohoo has said that it plans to rebuild and redesign the Debenhams website, and expand it into beauty, sport and homeware.
Executive chairman Mahmud Kamani said: "This is a transformational deal for the Group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as eCommerce continues to grow.
"Our ambition is to create the UK's largest marketplace. Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware."
Will Debenhams stores reopen before they shut for good?
Currently, all non-essential shops are closed in line with the coronavirus lockdown - but it is thought that Debenhams will reopen temporarily (when permitted by law) to help with the stock liquidation process.
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner of FRP Advisory, told the Mirror: “We are pleased to have secured the future for this great brand, and to have created the opportunity for a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge in a different shape beyond the pandemic.
"I expect that the agreement with Boohoo may provide some job opportunities but we regret that this outcome does not safeguard the jobs of Debenhams’ employees beyond the winding down period.
"We are very grateful that they have worked tirelessly through this very challenging period and will continue to support the closing down sale.
"I’d also like to thank the management team, who have worked very hard throughout to protect the business and support us in delivering the best outcome for stakeholders."