// Debenhams’ only store in Australia to close by the beginning of next year but online presence will continue
// The store opened in December 2017 and has been run by franchise partner Pepkor
// Debenhams will open one store each in Abu Dhabi, Qatar & Oman over the next year
Debenhams will close its only store in Australia by the beginning of next year.
The Debenhams store, located in the St Collins Lane shopping centre in central Melbourne, will close in the new year, according to Retail Week.
The retailer has said it would continue to expand its online presence in Australia beyond that period.
The store had opened in December 2017 and run by Debenhams’ franchise partner Pepkor.
A Debenhams spokesman confirmed the store closure, but said that it would open one store each in Middle Eastern countries, including United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman over the next year.
“The international strategy is to consolidate and grow in those markets we see a profitable opportunity in,” the spokesman said.
However, the department store’s priority is to close 22 UK stores by the start of 2020, with another 30 UK stores to close in the coming years, after a CVA was approved recently.
The store closures will affect 1200 employees.
The CVA also saw the retailer slash rents on 127 of its stores by around 25 per cent to 50 per cent.