Grand Arcade boss believes Wigan Debenhams will NOT close down

John Sanson
John Sanson

The general manager of Wigan’s Grand Arcade says he feels that its giant Debenhams store is not in danger of closing.

John Sanson was speaking after the troubled department store chain was put into administration after bosses rejected a £200m takeover deal from Sports Direct magnate which included making him chief executive.

The company has been taken over by its lenders in a pre-pack administration deal which would allow the shops to continue trading. The move is expected to trigger jobs losses and closures of some of its 165 stores.

Mr Sanson, however, felt that the Wigan outlet - which is the Grand Arcade’s anchor tenant - is better placed than some in the chain to weather any future storms.

He said: “There has been restructuring on the cards for a while now and it’s a good thing that it has come out and then it can move forward.

“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.”

But the shopworkers’ union Usdaw voiced anger at the latest developments.

National Officer Dave Gill said: “This is more devastating news for staff who were already living under the uncertainty of possible store closures since last year.

Once again, we urge the company to engage with Usdaw the trade union for all Debenhams staff. It’s crucial that the staff and their voice should be heard. We will continue to provide our members with the support and advice they need at this very difficult time.”