Debenhams is said to have been liquidated after failing to find a buyer. It comes after Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group which is the biggest concession operator in Debenhams, accounting for about 5% of Debenhams’ sales (which is about £75 million) collapsed.
According to the report by Reuters, the liquidation of the British department store group Debenhams, which traces its history back to 1778, would see about 12,000 to 13,000 losing their jobs. This will be the country’s second major corporate failure in as many days, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes struggling retailers over the edge.
Debenhams had in a statement on Tuesday 1st December 2020, warned that all of its 124 department stores are set to shut. The statement through its Administrators FRP Advisory, said that they have concluded that efforts to sell the business “have not resulted in a deliverable proposal”.
“Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain.
“The administrators have regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.
“It will continue to trade through its 124 UK stores and online to clear its current and contracted stocks. On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the operations will close.”
Geoff Rowley, of FRP Advisory, said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams.
“However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.
“The decision to move forward with a closure programme has been carefully assessed and, while we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action.”