Permanent closure date for Sheffield's two Debenhams hit by lockdown

FRP Advisory had intended to sell off all the stock and close the department stores in the first quarter of this year.

Friday, 15th January 2021, 4:45 pm

But non-essential retailers are now likely to be shut until March, making predicitions impossible.

It comes as FRP announced the permanent closure of six Debenhams, including Oxford Street in London, due to be being unable to agree lease extensions. Some 320 jobs are affected.

Administrators also said they were still talking to potential buyers of ‘all or parts of the business’.

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Debenhams, The Moor. Picture: Chris Etchells

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. Signs in the window state: ‘Store Closing’ but give no date.

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

Some 12,000 workers face losing their jobs.

Debenhams on The Moor.

An FRP advisory spokesman said then: ‘Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain.

‘The administrators have therefore regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.

‘Debenhams 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.’

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