Debenhams Stockport has been saved from closure as the chain has revealed the locations of 22 stores due to close with the potential loss of 1,200 jobs in 2020 as part of a restructure to keep Debenhams trading on some High Streets.
The majority of the stores closure will be in the midlands and southern areas of the UK.
Debenhams Group Holdings has proposed two company voluntary arrangements (CVAs), one relating to Debenhams Retail Ltd, the main trading entity, and another relating to Debenhams Properties Ltd which will eventually reduce the estate from 166 stores to around 116.
The further closures would be dependent upon future trading performance and discussions with landlords and local authorities regarding lease terms, rental agreements and any potential negotiations on business rates.
The first of the stores to close in 2020 have been identified as Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney, Wolverhampton.
All Debenhams stores are proposed to remain open during 2019, including through Christmas peak trading.
“The issues facing the UK high street are very well known,” said Debenhams executive chairman Terry Duddy.
“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment.
“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”
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