LONDON: British department store retailer Debenhams is to start a liquidation process that will see its stores close and the potential loss of 12,000 jobs, dealing another hammer blow to the country’s retail sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Debenhams administrators FRP Advisory said on Tuesday the decision to wind-down Debenhams followed its failure to find a buyer.
JD Sports Fashion confirmed on Tuesday it would not make an offer for the group.
The collapse of Debenhams, which trades from 124 UK stores, comes a day after Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group entered administration, threatening about 13,000 jobs.
“Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain,” FRP said.
“The administrators have therefore regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.”
FRP said Debenhams will continue to trade through its UK stores and online to clear its current and contracted stocks.
“On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the UK operations will close.”