Many of us are fans of the department store Debenhams, but unfortunately we have bad news.
The company has announced plans to close 22 of their stores as part of their plans to revive the chain.
They’ll be closing 50 of their stores in total, meaning there’ll only be 112 stores across the entire country. For a department store as large as Debenhams, this is a significant loss.
Sales across their UK stores have fallen by 7.4%, which the company have blamed on fewer shoppers heading to the High Street and favouring online shopping instead.
Here’s the full list of Debenhams stores that are closing in 2020
Welwyn Garden City
Despite being the UK’s biggest department store chain, with origins tracing back to 1778, they still managed to slip up, according to industry experts. Their decision to expand in the 2000s came at the wrong time, as this was the time when consumers were switching to shopping online. As tech is becoming commonplace and our lives are getting busier, online shopping is a quick and easy way to browse our favourite retailers.
Speaking about this, Richard Lim, chief executive of consultancy firm Retail Economics said, “Department stores are incredibly expensive to run… the business has been outmanoeuvred by more nimble competitors, failed to embrace change and was left with a tiring proposition. The industry is evolving fast and it paid the ultimate price.”
This expansion has left the company with debts and expensive rent, resulting in them making some difficult decisions across the entire chain. This also means that over 1,200 staff members will be affected by these closures.
Of course, Debenhams is not the only department store to suffer loss in recent years. Leading retailers BHS, Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser have also had to close stores due to financial issues.
Whilst we aren’t expected to lose Debenhams for good, this is still bad news for staff, shareholders and local consumers who have lost stores in their towns and cities.
According to BBC News, Terry Duddy, executive chairman, said, “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.”