25th Feb, 2021

Blow for staff and shoppers as Worcester's Debenhams closes for good

Rob George 14th Jan, 2021

WORCESTER’s ailing Debenhams store has been handed the final nail in its coffin after administrators confirmed the High Street branch was one of six stores to close permanently.

Long-suffering staff received the news yesterday (Wednesday) to end a saga which has dragged on for a number of months with rumours of a closure first surfacing even before the High Street giant collapsed into administration.

The latest six closures come following thousands of job cuts last year, and will now see the department chain’s city shop shut its doors for good.

A total of 320 jobs will be lost across all six sites to be closed which includes Debenham’s flagship Oxford Street store in London.

Last year, Debenhams axed 1,000 staff in May, followed by a further 2,500 in August.

The retailer started a liquidation process last month after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal.

Debenhams’ administrator FRP Advisory said it is continuing to talk with potential suitors over the possible sale of all or parts of the business. Its Redditch store, regarded as the anchor store for the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, is currently expected to re-open.

The insolvency firm said it still intends to reopen as many stores as it can when restrictions for non-essential retailers are lifted to sell off stock. The chain is continuing to sell products through online platforms.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and partner at FRP, 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 the announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”

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