Debenhams in Wigan survives axe in list of closures

A key department store inside a town centre shopping centre will remain open despite national closures.
The Debenhams store in WiganThe Debenhams store in Wigan
The Debenhams store in Wigan

Debenhams in The Grand Arcade Wigan was not included on a list of six of its sister shops to close.

Employees at stores in Portsmouth, Staines, Harrogate, Weymouth and Worcester, have been told these stores will not reopen after the end of the lockdown, with 320 jobs to be affected.

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Debenhams also said it had been unable to agree a lease extension with the landlord of its Oxford Street store in central London and, as a result, this store would also remain closed.

It comes amid concerns that the Wigan store would close while there have been fears over the Bolton branch after the chain's last remaining rescue bidder JD Sports pulled out of talks.

The department store chain said its administrator FRP Advisory is still in talks with "a number of third parties regarding the sale of all or parts of the business".

However, plans are going ahead for the winding down announced last month.

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Geoff Rowley, a joint administrator to Debenhams at FRP Advisory, said: “We continue to engage with interested parties over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams, but inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business.

"We regret the impact on those colleagues affected by today’s announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”