// Debenhams store on London’s Oxford Street set to be converted into retail and office scheme
// Architects at AHMM launched a consultation on proposals to refurbish the former flagship store
// Last week, Debenhams left the high street for good after shutting down its final batch of stores
Debenhams’ former flagship store in London’s Oxford Street is due to be transformed by an architectural firm as a new retail and office scheme.
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) has launched a consultation on proposals to refurbish the former flagship store.
Developer 334 Ramsbury Oxford Limited is planning to retain the existing building on 334 Oxford Street, adding new facades and three upper storeys with terraces.
The refurbished building, which takes up a whole block close to Bond Street tube station, will include three storeys of retail facing Oxford Street, a mix of uses on the building’s three other sides and flexible office space on its upper levels.
The launch of the consultation follows Debenhams’ closure of all its remaining department stores this month.
Last week, Debenhams officially left the high street for good after shutting down its final batch of stores. The department store chain closed down its remaining 28 stores across the UK, marking the final nail in the coffin in its 243 years of trading on the high street.
It had closed down 21 stores on the Thursday prior, and in the week ending May 8 it had shut down 52 stores.
Debenhams had suffered slumping sales in recent years as shoppers moved away from traditional department store models.
However, the enforced closure of sites during the pandemic was the final straw, resulting in the retailer falling into administration in April last year – just weeks after the first UK-wide lockdown began.
Debenhams then went into liquidation in December after the administration process failed to secure any buyers to save the business.
The flagship Oxford Street store, which also houses the firm’s head offices on its upper levels, was one of the stores which did not reopen for closing down sales following the easing of lockdown restrictions in April.
“The plans will re-establish 334 Oxford Street within the context of a changing city centre environment that will demand greater flexibility for future uses,” AHMM founding partner Paul Monaghan said.
AHMM also designed 61 Oxford Street, a distinctive wavy glass building housing a branch of Zara on the ground floor with offices and flats above, which opened in 2016.
The project is being managed by the London based commercial real estate practice Capital Real Estate Partners.