Covid-19 affects: Debenhams set to close putting 18,000 jobs at risk, Arcadia collapses disturbing 13,000 employees

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LONDON: Debenhams stores are set to close after the failure of last-ditch efforts to rescue the ailing department store chain. It means all 12,000 employees and 6,000 part time are likely to lose their jobs when the chain’s 124 shops cease trading.

Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in April and hopes had rested on a rescue bid from JD Sports. But after the sports chain pulled out, hopes of saving the 242-year-old department store chain faded.

The 12,000 jobs at the retailer are set to go over the coming months unless the administrators do a deal for all or parts of the business as the process unfolds. Staff were told the news on Tuesday morning.

Debenhams outlets will continue to accept the firm’s store cards and process returns as normal.

Hilco, the restructuring firm which specialises in winding up retailers, started going into stores on Wednesday to begin clearing stock.

Debenhams’ news comes just hours after Topshop owner Arcadia collapsed into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

Tough trading during the coronavirus pandemic proved to be the final blow for both firms, which employ more than 25,000 people between them. Topshop owner Arcadia goes into administration

Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, joint administrator to Debenhams and Partner at FRP. said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams. The Debenhams had already cut about 6,500 jobs since May as it struggled to stay afloat.