End of an era as Debenhams set to close for good in Sheffield on Saturday

Debenhams on The Moor and at Meadowhall will close for good on Saturday (May 15) along with all those remaining in the UK.

It will be the final act in the tumultuous decline of the 242-year-old chain.

The stores have been offering discounts of up to 80 per cent in a final stock liquidation process.

At the Moor store shelves were stripped bare with clothes on the floor as as the Sheffield store was reduced to jumble sale ahead of closure.

Debenhams on The Moor in Sheffield.

In February the administrators said all 118 stores would close and 12,000 staff would be made redundant.

Debenhams had been in and out of administration before FRP Advisory announced on December 1 that rescue talks had failed and it planned to wind the company down and sell off all the stock.

The permanent closure date was originally planned to be in the first quarter of this year but was pushed back when the third lockdown was imposed in January and shops had to close.

Debenhams is one of the largest buildings on The Moor, but due to separate ownership, was not included in Aberdeen Standard Investment’s £120m revamp of the shopping area and has been shabby for years.

The top floor closed some time ago, reflecting the company’s struggles.

The historic department store chain will close its remaining 28 stores across the UK for good on Saturday after the company collapsed amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

It closed 21 of its sites across the UK for the final time on Thursday.

The retailer has suffered slumping sales in recent years as shoppers moved away from traditional department store models.

However, the enforced closure of sites during the pandemic was the final straw, resulting in the company falling into administration within weeks of the virus fully hitting the UK.

The company then started its liquidation process at the start of this year after failing to secure a rescue sale.

Debenhams, which employed more than 20,000 people before the pandemic, sold its brand and website to online giant Boohoo for £55 million in January but confirmed its bricks and mortar business would close for good.

It reopened sites from April 12 after the reopening of essential retail in order to clear stock across its stores.