Debenhams has revealed the locations of the next 25 stores to be closed permanently, following the acquisition of the retailer’s online business and brand by Boohoo Group in January.
Some 97 Debenhams stores across England and Wales were re-opened after lockdown to clear stock, which was not acquired by Boohoo, and the locations set to close next (on 8 May) have been revealed as:
Bury St Edmunds
Leeds City Centre
A number of sites, such as Hounslow, Ilford and Sutton, have already been confirmed as closing soon.
The department store’s London Oxford Street flagship did not re-open after lockdown and on the reopening day for non-essential retail in England (on 12 April) work was being carried out at the building to board up the store fronts and signage (pictured above).
Boohoo Group paid £55m for the Debenhams brand and online store in January after the business had begun liquidation proceedings. It had been in administration since the first lockdown in England, which ran from March to June last year.
A buyer had been sought for the business as a going concern with Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group and JD Sports interested in taking it on. However JD Sports pulled out of talks when Debenhams’ largest concessionaire Arcadia collapsed into administration at the end of November 2020.
Boohoo intends to create a department store online under the Debenhams.com brand and has already populated its website with brands from its own stable including Boohoo, BoohooMAN, Warehouse and Karen Millen, as well as Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis, having acquired the latter three from Arcadia’s administrators.
A limited amount of homewares, such as bedding, scented candles and cushions, are available while beauty will be launched soon. The move to acquire Debenhams was part of Boohoo’s strategy to extend beyond fashion into beauty and home and its flagship brand Boohoo recently launched its first home collection.
The departure of Debenhams from a number of mid-size towns and cities, including Northampton and Hastings, will leave them with no department store for the first time in living memory.
Read our recent feature – What does a department store-less town look like? – here.