Hastings branch of Debenhams looks like it’s safe for the moment as the department store chain fights its way out of administration for the seond time in just nine months.
As part of the rescue package being hammered out Debenhams has named seven additional stores that it will close, in addition to those already earmarked for closure and that new list does not include Hastings although the company says a ‘handful’ more sites could be at risk.
Debenhams says it has struck deals with landlords to keep most of its 142 stores open after going into administration last week.
It has agreed terms on 120 branches and is in ‘advanced’ talks on the remainder of its estate, it added.
The seven stores that will not reopen when the government lifts coronavirus restrictions on non-essential shops are in…
- Westfield, west London
- Leamington Spa
- South Shields
Debenhams Chief Executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste said: “I’m delighted with the progress we are making with our landlord discussions, which reflects the pragmatic view the vast majority of them are taking of the current market conditions.
“We have agreed terms on the vast majority of our UK stores and talks are proceeding positively on the remainder, positioning us to reopen these stores when government regulations permit.
“Regrettably we have been unable to reach agreement on seven stores and these will not be reopening, and I’d like to express my thanks to our colleagues in these stores at what I know is a difficult time for everyone.”
Debenhams is currently in what it describes as a ‘light touch’ administration to protect it from legal action from creditors while its department stores are closed.
The retailer is still trading online while its shops are closed.
It has furloughed the majority of its staff who are being paid under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme which pays 80 per cent of a worker’s salary.
Arcadia, which is controlled by Sir Philip Green, and operates stores including Dorothy Perkins is reported to be preparing to walk away from a number of its property leases.