The Malta Independent 23 January 2021, Saturday

In another dark day for UK retailing, Debenhams set to close

Associated Press Tuesday, 1 December 2020, 11:38 Last update: about 3 months ago

In another dark day for the British retailing industry, Debenhams said Tuesday it will start liquidating its business - which counts around 12,000 workers - after a potential buyer of the company pulled out.

The 242-year-old department store chain said administrators had decided to start winding down operations while continuing to seek offers “for all or parts of the business.”

JD Sports had been mulling an offer for Debenhams, which like others in the U.K. retailing sector has seen business collapse this year during the coronavirus pandemic. However, JD Sports is thought to have pulled out after Arcadia Group, the sprawling retail empire of billionaire Philip Green, went into a type of bankruptcy protection late Monday.

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Arcadia, which owns well-known brands such as Burton and Topshop, is the biggest operator of concessions in Debenhams department stores.

Debenhams said it will continue to trade through its 124 UK stores and online to clear its current and contracted stocks.

“On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the UK operations will close,” the company said in statement.

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