Debenhams closing final 28 stores today as 243-year history comes to end

The company collapsed amid the fallout of the pandemic (Photo: Getty Images)
The company collapsed amid the fallout of the pandemic (Photo: Getty Images)
The company collapsed amid the fallout of the pandemic (Photo: Getty Images)

Debenhams is closing its doors for the final time today as its 243-year reign on the high street comes to an end.

The historic department store chain will shut its remaining 28 stores across the UK for good on Saturday (15 May) after the company collapsed amid the fallout of the pandemic.

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The retailer already closed 21 of its UK sites for the final time earlier this week.

Slumping sales

The collapse of the chain comes after it suffered slumping sales over the past few years, as shoppers veered away from traditional department stores to online shopping.

The enforced closure of its stores during the coronavirus pandemic marked the final straw for the retailer, and led to the company falling into administration within weeks of the virus arriving in the UK.

For a long time JD Sports were understood to be in pole position to buy the struggling retailer only for its parent company Arcadia to go into administration, forcing the sports chain to pull out.

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At the start of this year, the company began its liquidation process after it failed to secure a rescue deal.

Debenhams, which employed more than 20,000 people before the pandemic struck, sold its brand and website to online retailer Boohoo for £55 million in January.

However, it confirmed its physical stores would close for good.

The chain reopened its sites on 12 April after lockdown rules allowed essential retailers to open back up in order to clear its remaining stock across its stores.

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Final 28 stores to close

The following 28 Debenhams stores across the UK will close for the final time on 15 May:

  • Basildon
  • Basingstoke
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham Bullring
  • Brighton
  • Bristol
  • Bromley
  • Cardiff
  • Chelmsford
  • Cheshire Oaks
  • Colchester
  • Coventry
  • Exeter
  • Hanley
  • Lakeside
  • Leeds White Rose
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Manchester Trafford
  • Meadowhall
  • Merry Hill
  • Newcastle
  • Newry
  • Plymouth
  • Romford
  • Rushmere
  • Sheffield
  • Swansea