Final Debenhams stores shut as chain’s 243-year history ends

A DEPARTMENT STORE chain has pulled the shutters down on 243 years in business this weekend.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 5:55 pm
The closed Debenhams store in Commercial Road. Picture: Steve Deeks

Historic department store chain Debenhams closed its remaining 28 stores across the UK on Saturday after the company collapsed amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

It closed 21 of its sites for the final time on Thursday.

Its store in Fareham closed on May 2.

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Plans to demolish Debenhams in Portsmouth's city centre revealed

Its store in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, did not reopen after the second lockdown and there are now plans to demolish the building.

The retailer has 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 company falling into administration within weeks of the virus fully hitting the UK.

The company then started its liquidation process at the start of this year after failing to secure a rescue sale.

Debenhams, which employed more than 20,000 people before the pandemic, sold its brand and website to online giant Boohoo for £55 million in January but confirmed its bricks and mortar business would close for good.

It reopened sites from April 12 after the reopening of essential retail in order to clear stock across its stores.

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