Debenhams takes advantage of unwanted, discounted stock

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Debenhams takes advantage of unwanted, discounted stock
// Debenhams pursuing discounted, unwanted stock from suppliers in order to help fill gaps in its seasonal ranges
// Follows a wave of retailers cancelling orders with suppliers amid the coronavirus crisis
// Debenhams would not confirm if the discounted stock came from new partners or existing suppliers

Debenhams has reportedly taken advantage of clothing stock unwanted by other retailers by snapping them up at discounted rates.

According to Drapers, the retailer was pursuing discounted, unwanted stock from suppliers in order to help fill gaps in its seasonal ranges.

It comes amid as a wave of retailers cancel orders with suppliers to preserve cashflow and limit stock during the coronavirus pandemic.


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However, Debenhams did not confirm if the discounted stock came from new partners or existing suppliers.

The news comes shortly after the department store chain reportedly warned that its Welsh stores may be forced to shut permanently unless the government in Wales reverses a decision on business rates relief.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak granted one-year business rates holiday to all retail, leisure and hospitality firms for a year just as the coronavirus crisis escalated in the UK last month.

Wales initially said it would match these plans but then changed the threshold for those eligible by not extending the relief to properties with a rateable value of £500,000 and above.

Debenhams chairman Mark Gifford said that the move threatens the viability of its biggest stores in Wales.

The updates come after the retailer appointed administrators from FRP Advisory earlier this month and entered administration for the second time in 12 months.

The department store chain has so far struck a deal with landlords to ensure around 120 of its 142 stores would re-open after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

However, 11 stores will shut down permanently, affecting hundreds of staff.

Soon after Debenhams first fell into administration in April last year, it launched a CVA that included rent cuts of up to 50 per cent on some stores and around 50 stores earmarked for closure.

The first tranche of store closures – 22 sites – took place in January, well before the coronavirus outbreak sent the UK into a state of crisis.

Debenhams said plans to close the remaining 28 stores as part the CVA remains, but some of those closing may be on that list of 11 that have been confirmed to close permanently.

It also previously stressed its intention that “there will still be a Debenhams of 100-plus UK stores” once lockdown restrictions are lifted and the administration process ends.

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