By Amy Hunt
Is your local Debenhams store closing? We look at which Debenhams stores are closing down and why....
The coronavirus lockdown has hit everyone hard, but across the country the UK's high street has been hit particularly hard over the last few weeks.
With shops now having been closed for over five weeks, most customers have turned to online shopping. And it's having a huge effect on our high-street stores.
One shop that appears to have been seriously affected is department store Debenhams, who have recently announced that they are set to close a further five stores, following previous closures earlier this year.
Which Debenhams stores are closing?
Five Debenhams stores across the UK will not reopen when the lockdown is eased in the coming weeks and months. They include:
- Bullring store, Birmingham
- The Oracle store, Reading
- Centrale, Croydon
- Highcross, Leicester
- Silverburn, Glasgow
The final days of these stores being open were around 22/23rd March - when the Prime Minister announced that shops must close for the foreseeable as a result of the outbreak.
Why the Debenhams stores are closing
The five stores above have been ordered to close, as Debenhams have been unable to agree terms with their new shopping centre owner Hammerson to reopen the shops, following a period of falling into administration.
The lockdown on non-essential shops means that these stores have not survived the coronavirus pandemic in tact.
A spokesperson for Debenhams explained, "We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.
"We continue to engage in constructive talks with our landlords and have agreed terms on the vast majority of our stores, which we look forward to reopening when government restrictions allow.
"This is no reflection on the commitment of our colleagues in these stores and we are extremely grateful for their support."
It's estimated that the closures will affect around 1,000 jobs, according to the BBC.
Currently, many Debenhams employees are being paid as part of the government's furlough scheme, as a result of the lockdown having closed all stores temporarily.
Which other Debenhams stores have closed over the last year?
Debenhams first collapsed into administration in April last year, and agreed to cut costs in order to save the business.
It was agreed then that they would close 22 stores in 2020, and 28 stores in 2021.
But on 6th April this year, the Debenhams CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste announced that they were re-appointing administrators in order to deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, in April, it was announced that seven other stores across the UK were now closed and would not reopen after lockdown restrictions lifted.
Those stores are:
- Westfield, Shepherds Bush, London
- Leamington Spa
- South Shields
It was revealed that 422 employees across the company were affected by the closures.
Debenhams also closed a further 20 stores in January of this year before the pandemic struck, in a bid to save the company from going under.
Those stores, that shut in January, include:
- Altrincham, Manchester
- Birmingham The Fort
- Wimbledon, London
- Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
- Wandsworth, London
- Welwyn, Herfordshire
- Witney, Oxfordshire
- Chatham, Kent
- Kirkcaldy, Fife
- Canterbury, Kent
- Ashford, Kent
- Folkestone, Kent
- Southport, Merseyside
- Southsea, Portsmouth
- Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
- Slough, Berkshire
- Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham
- Eastbourne, East Sussex
Despite the closures, Debenhams have said that they have agreed terms to keep open 120 of their 142 stores, suggesting there shouldn't be too many further closures.
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