Debenhams to shut four more stores after lockdown

The locations of the affected branches are Southampton, Swindon, Kidderminster and Borehamwood.

These closures will mean 239 jobs are lost.

Just a week ago the chain confirmed it wouldn’t reopen seven UK stores after lockdown.

These seven are located in Truro, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Salisbury, Westfield in west London, Warrington, Leamington Spa and South Shields.null

The latest closure announcements follow the company filing for administration on April 10.

It has appointed business advisory firm FRP Advisory to oversee the administration process.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, all UK stores are closed in line with the government’s guidance for “non-essential” businesses.

But now 11 will not reopen when the lockdown is lifted.null

It currently has 142 UK stores and around 50 stores are now expected to close in 2020 and 2021.

The first set of closures this year began in January when 22 stores were shut.

It also confirmed all 11 stores in the Republic of Ireland will remain closed as this arm of the business has gone into liquidation.

Of those some may reopen after lockdown but this will be the decision of the liquidator.

The company told us it expects “almost all” of the rest of its stores to reopen when lockdown ends.

Debenhams is still selling items online and will continue to offer an online service in the UK, Ireland and Denmark.

Customer orders, gift cards and returns are also being accepted and processed normally.

The majority of the firm’s employees in the UK are currently being paid under the government’s furlough scheme.

The coronavirus job retention scheme is where employers can ask the government to cover 80 per cent of the salary of furloughed staff if they’re temporarily unable to work.

A spokesperson for Debenhams said: “Sadly we have been unable to agree terms with the landlords and as a result these stores will not be re-opening when government restrictions are lifted.

“We greatly regret the effect on our colleagues, who have served our customers with commitment and dedication. In the meantime our customers can continue to shop with us online as usual at http://www.debenhams.com.”

The high street chain has been struggling for the past year, long before the coronavirus pandemic.

In April 2019, it fell into the control of lenders, a group of banks and hedge funds led by US firm Silver Point Capital.

At this point 50 stores were shut permanently, as well as rents reduced across dozens of other branches.

This move wiped out the value of investments of shareholders, including Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley.

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