// Debenhams to reopen 97 stores in Wales & England when lockdown is lifted next week
// It will carry out a closing down clearance sale as part of its liquidation process
// It will not be reopening any of its stores in Scotland
Debenhams has confirmed that its remaining stores in England and Wales will reopen on April 12 to complete its final closing down sale as the retailer prepares to exit the high street for good.
The collapsed retailer said its 97 stores in the two countries are reopening as part of its final stock liquidation process and will continue to trade for a limited number of weeks until the stock in the stores is fully cleared.
These stores will start to close permanently from May 2, with the stock clearance completed and final stores expected to close by May 15.
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The closing down sale will offer limited-time discounts, with up to 70 per cent off fashion and home products, and up to 50 per cent off beauty and fragrance lines.
“This is the last chance for customers in England and Wales to visit their local Debenhams before sadly our stores close for good,” a Debenhams spokesperson said.
“We will be reopening with a fantastic range of offers and discounts across all of our customers’ favourite brands and products.
“Stocks are limited and expected to sell out quickly so customers should visit their nearest store quickly to avoid disappointment.
“We are very grateful for the efforts of our staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading.”
Last month Debenhams said it would not reopen its 15 of its stores in Scotland when the country’s lockdown for non-essential is lifted later this month.
This decision resulted in 647 job losses.
The Scottish Government previously stated that the reopening of non-essential stores there would not begin until April 26 at the earliest, and that this would then be on a tiered basis.
Debenhams’ administrators said this timeline did not align with those expected in other parts of the UK, prompting it to make the decision to not reopen its Scottish stores briefly as it plans to do so in England and Wales.
The department store has not yet provided information regarding its remaining six stores in Northern Ireland, although a target reopening date for non-essential retail has not yet been confirmed by Stormont.
Debenhams went into liquidation in December, after an administration process failed to secure any buyers to save the department store chain.
About a month later, its brand and assets were purchased by Boohoo Group in a £55 million deal.
Boohoo’s deal only includes Debenhams’ brand and other business assets – including all the in-house brands and websites – and will see Boohoo take ownership of Debenhams’ ecommerce operations and products around the start of its next financial year in March.
Administrators said at the time that it would continue running closing down sales across Debenhams’ remaining shops – which counted 118 in December – once they are allowed to reopen.
With all of Debenhams’ stores closing down permanently as part of the liquidation and wind-down process, it means up to 12,000 staff would not have their jobs saved.
Since it fell into administration last April, Debenhams had already announced significant job losses and store closures – including the more recent announcement of six store closures, of which its flagship outlet on London’s Oxford Street was a part.
That administration itself was the second of its kind that Debenhams had launched within the space of 12 months.
Shortly after the first administration, it launched a CVA that saw it close down scores of stores immediately after the 2019 Christmas trading season.
At its peak and before the first administration in 2019, Debenhams operated from around 160 stores across the UK.