Debenhams names locations of store closures
Debenhams, one of the UK’s largest and oldest department stores, is suffering acutely from financial difficulties, resulting in many store closures across the UK.
As of Friday, Debenhams has announced the names of 22 of the stores which they plan to close.
Among the list so far are mostly stores in East Anglia and the southeast of England.
One of the reasons for these financial difficulties was an over-investment in high street retail shops over a period when the internet occupied an ever greater share of the market.
In order to ameliorate the situation, Debenhams is now closing a number of stores and has secured £200 million of financial assistance from a group of lenders as part of administration buy-out negotiations.
The BBC reports the current executive chairman of Debenhams, Terry Duddy, as saying: “Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group's store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today's much changed retail environment.
"Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”
By the time all 50 stores have closed, there will only be 116 Debenhams stores left in the country.
This contrasts favourably with the collapse of BHS, which saw 160 stores across the UK close.
In addition to mitigating damage to employees and lenders, it is likely that landlords will also protect their interests by not reducing rents for the stores. In this regard, Rob Young, BBC’s business reporter, writes “People close to the process say it’s by no means a done deal.”