Debenhams, the collapsed department store chain, has confirmed that all 15 of its Scottish stores have been closed permanently leading to 647 job losses.
The chain, which is in the process of being wound down, confirmed however that stores in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will re-open for a short period after the lockdown on non-essential retail lifts to sell-off stock.
Non-essential stores in England are due to re-open on 12 April but a date for Northern Ireland and Wales has yet to be set. Non-essential stores in Scotland are not expected to open before 26 April.
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator and partner of FRP Advisory, said: “The Debenhams liquidation clearance continues online, and will restart in stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland once restrictions allow.
“We regret that Debenhams’ Scottish stores will not be able to reopen, and would like to thank all those employees affected for their commitment to Debenhams during what I know has been an extremely unsettling time.”
Debenhams was placed into administration during the first UK Covid-19 lockdown in April last year. It entered into a sale process but no offers were made for the business and the last potentially interested buyer, JD Sports, pulled out of talks at the end of November as it emerged that Debenhams biggest concessionaire, Arcadia, was close to collapse.
Arcadia was placed into administration at the end of November and Debenhams began liquidation proceedings on 1 December. Online group Boohoo announced it had acquired the brand and the website, Debenhams.com, last month but none of the stricken business’s 118 stores were part of the £55m deal.
Before its collapse, Debenhams employed around 12,000 staff but only a few hundred jobs, in areas such as design and buying, were saved by the Boohoo deal.
The Arcadia brands were bought by ASOS, Boohoo and Australia’s City Chic Collective. None of its 450-plus stores formed part of any deal.