According to the administrators of the collapsed group, the British department store chain Debenhams will close all branches on Monday and lose around 12,000 jobs.
However, Debenhams, which has long struggled with stiff online competition, is set to keep its brand alive after British online fashion group Boohoo bought the group’s intellectual property.
Debenhams collapsed last month after struggling to adapt from a brick and mortar store long before the coronavirus pandemic.
Stores will reopen after the UK lockdown to liquidate inventory is lifted, the administrator said FRP Advisory, who was deployed to rescue parts of the deal, said a statement Monday.
“Once the Debenhams stores are ready to reopen and the liquidation of stocks in the stores can continue, the website will be operated by Boohoo.
“The closing sale will continue in stores for several weeks until the liquidation of the shares is complete and the value of those shares is maintained for the creditors.
“Unfortunately, all British stores will then be closed permanently,” it continues.
A source close to the company told AFP that around 12,000 jobs would be lost.
Debenhams, whose history dates back to the late 18th century, had hoped to sell some of its 124 stores whose staff were paid through the UK government’s vacation program during the pandemic.
It is unclear whether the UK retail group Frasers, which has been in talks with the administrators, will still track down some Debenhams stores.
Frasers is run by Mike Ashley, the owner of England’s Premier League football club Newcastle United, known for buying large retailers that have fallen from great heights.
“Top Ten Retail Website”
Boohoo has since acquired Debenhams’ assets including customer data.
The cost of the deal is £ 55 million ($ 75 million, € 62 million), Boohoo said in a separate statement.
“Debenhams is a longstanding and leading UK fashion and beauty retailer with high brand awareness and an established online platform with approximately 300 million UK website visits a year,” said Boohoo.
“That makes it one of the top 10 retail websites in the UK.”
With an increasing shift to online, major shopping streets in England’s cities could lose more than 400,000 jobs after the coronavirus is over, according to a recent survey by auditor KPMG.
While Covid-19 has devastated the UK retail sector and tens of thousands of jobs have been lost to other notable bankruptcies, supermarkets were booming.
Topshop owner Arcadia, one of the UK’s largest clothing retailers, fell into administration before Christmas, putting another 13,000 roles at risk.
Arcadia, which owns a number of brands including Topman, Evans and Wallis that were also sold in Debenhams’ stores, largely blamed the decline of the coronavirus for the decline.
Like Debenhams, Arcadia was struggling to transition to a leading online company.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)