// Debenhams chairman Mark Gifford blocks deals on two beauty hall Debenhams stores
// Those two stores, in Birmingham Bullring and Silverburn Glasgow, were meant to be given to Next to ope beauty halls
// Hammerson still plans to hand 3 contracts to Next for Debenhams’ locations Reading, Leicester & Croydon
Debenhams chairman Mark Gifford has reportedly blocked deals on two of Debenhams’ stores which could have seen Next open new concept beauty halls in those locations.
According to The Mail on Sunday, Gifford successfully blocked the deals pertaining to Debenhams’ Bullring store in Birmingham and Silverburn in Glasgow.
Next had a deal with the shopping centres’ owner Hammerson that would see the fashion retailer open five beauty concepts in the existing beauty halls of those Debenhams stores.
- Debenhams Bullring store could be saved as staff put back on furlough
- Next swoops in on empty Debenhams beauty halls for new concept
- 1400 job cuts as Debenhams permanently shuts another 5 stores
The Mail on Sunday said Gifford blocked the deals on the Bullring and Silverburn after discovering Hammerson had held secret talks with Next.
The news comes after emerged last week that Debenhams’ Bullring store could be saved from shutting down permanently just a week after the deal with Next was announced.
The department store chain revealed it was unable to agree terms with landlord Hammerson, and staff who had been told they would lose their jobs have been put back on furlough.
Hammerson still plans to hand at least three of the contracts to Next for Debenhams’ now-vacant locations at Oracle in Reading, Highcross in Leicester, and Centrale in Croydon.
Earlier this month, Debenhams announced that another five of its UK stores would not reopen following the easing of lockdown restrictions, bringing its total store closures since administration to 16.
The latest tranche of closures were to result in an estimated 1400 job losses.
Debenhams said that despite “best efforts” it had been unable to agree terms with Hammerson to reopen the five stores in question, after falling into administration for the second time within a year in April.
Next swooped in to sign new flexible leases to take over the existing beauty halls in the five stores to close.
While two of those five locations now appear to be off the table, The Mail on Sunday said Next was already talks to sign other contracts that would see its name replace Debenhams on 10 beauty halls.
Hammerson rival Intu is also reportedly in talks with other retailers over Debenhams leases.