The British department store chain Debenhams has gone into liquidation, punished by the impact of the pandemic on mass consumption. The process threatens the closure of establishments in the country, which add 12,000 jobs, in another severe blow to the sector in the United Kingdom. The emblematic chain, specialized in fashion and home products, has been operating in this country for 242 years and has 124 stores.
The bankruptcy administrators of the company have advanced today that the liquidation is a consequence of the failure in the attempt to find a buyer. The chain of fashion stores JD Sports Fashion confirmed this morning that it would not make an offer for the group, after having negotiated the purchase. The end of the talks is linked, analysts say, to the bankruptcy of the Arcadia group – owner, among others, of Topshop -, whose brands are very prominent in Debenhams stores.
“Given the current business environment and the likely prolonged effects of the pandemic, the prospect of restructuring is highly uncertain,” the company said. “Therefore, managers have come to the regrettable conclusion that cuts to Debenhams UK should be initiated, while offers continue to be sought for all or part of the business.”
Thus, Debenhams will continue to operate through its UK stores and online to clear its current and contracted stocks. “At the conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, UK operations will be closed.”
“The decision to go ahead with a closure program has been carefully evaluated and, although we remain hopeful to still receive alternative business proposals, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to begin this procedure,” said Geoff Rowley, one of the administrators.