Wigan's Debenhams spared axe as 22 stores set to close

The Debenhams store in Wigan
The Debenhams store in Wigan

The Debenhams department store in Wigan has been spared closure as the troubled high street giant revealed which 22 shops will close next year.

The store in the Grand Arcade was not on the list revealed by the company on Friday.

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Shopping centre general manager John Sanson had previously told Wigan Today he was confident the town's Debenhams would not be shut down following the move to put the chain in administration earlier this month.

And his prediction so far has been proved right, saving town centre jobs in the process.

The stores earmarked for closure in 2020 are: 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 and Wolverhampton.

The new owners still say they plan to close 50 stores in total during a three-year place, potentially putting thousands of jobs at risk.

However, Mr Sanson recently had very encouraging words for the future of the Grand Arcade's anchor tenant.

He said: "I do not think the Wigan store will close. It is a new store - so it doesn’t need major refurbishment - and it is a profitable store that can stand up against some of the others."

The company has launched a CVA, which is a controversial insolvency mechanism. This could still be blocked by creditors in a vote.