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The high street bids farewell to Debenhams

Department store officially exits the high street, with final stores closing down over the weekend.

The remaining Debenhams outlets closed their doors over the weekend, meaning that the department store chain has officially left the high street.

The final 28 UK stores closed on Saturday (15 May), bringing to an end the chain’s 243 years of trading on the high street, reported Retail Gazette.

It had closed down 21 stores on the Thursday prior, and in the week ending 8 May it had shut down 52 stores.

Debenhams went into liquidation in December 2020 after an administration process failed to secure any buyers to save the business.

The Debenhams brand, along with its ecommerce operations and assets were purchased by Boohoo Group in January 2021 for £55 million, however the deal did not include the store estate.

Debenhams re-opened 97 stores in England and Wales on 12 April to complete its final closing down sale as part of the liquidation process, continuing to trade for a number of weeks until the stock in stores was fully cleared.

Its remaining four stores in Northern Ireland re-opened on 30 April, however Debenhams did not re-open its 15 stores in Scotland when the country’s lockdown on non essential retail was lifted on 26 April.

Boohoo says it intends to ‘rebuild and relaunch’ the Debenhams platform online and is now planning to create the UK’s largest marketplace across fashion, beauty, sport and homeware, expanding the range of products sold via the Debenhams marketplace.

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