Department store group Debenhams has announced its 15 stores in Scotland will not reopen following the easing of lockdown arrangements and are therefore closed permanently – a move that impacts some 647 jobs.
In a statement today (26 February), the retail group noted while a number of employees will be retained for a short period of time to support the closures, all employees in its Scottish stores will ultimately be made redundant.
“In Scotland, the Government has stated that the reopening of non-essential stores will not begin until 26 April at the earliest, and that this will then be on a tiered basis. Because this timeline does not align with those expected in other parts of the UK and therefore with the planned wind-down of the Debenhams business, regrettably our 15 stores in Scotland will now not reopen and are closed permanently,” Debenhams said.
The retailer added it intends to re-open its stores in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for a short period to complete its stock liquidation process as soon as government restrictions allow. In England, this is expected to be no earlier than 12 April based on the latest Government guidance.
Debenhams entered administration for the second time in April last year, and began a wind-down of its operations in early December after JD Sports Fashion, Britain’s largest sportswear retailer, ended rescue talks and administrators failed to find an alternative buyer for the business.
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner of FRP Advisory, said today: “The Debenhams liquidation clearance continues online, and will restart in stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland once restrictions allow.”
In January, UK online fast fashion retailer Boohoo Group inked a deal to acquire the global rights to Debenhams brands and its websites for GBP55m (US$75.2m) in a move aimed at furthering its ambition to create the UK’s largest marketplace and grow into new categories including beauty, sport, and homeware.