Debenhams administration and store closures

Debenhams administration and store closures

DEPARTMENT store chain Debenhams has fallen into administration putting the future of some of its branches at risk.
The future of the retailer is now in the hands of lenders as they agree a way to turnaround the business.
PA:Press Association Retail chain Debenhams has fell into administration this morning
This morning Debenhams announced a pre-pack administration deal.
It doesn’t mean that Debenhams will disappear from the high street but some stores will still close.
A “pre-pack administration” is an insolvency process for a business to sell its assets before appointing administrations.
It is a powerful way of selling on a business to a third part of buyer.
How many branches are closing and where will they be?
All 166 Debenhams stores will continue to trade for now, although 50 branches have already been ear-marked for closure.
A list of stores which will shut down has not yet been agreed.
Now Debenhams bosses must agree on a way to revamp the business.
As part of this they will be looking to negotiate leases with landlords and reduce business rates with councils.
That means its impossible to say which stores will close.
The process should take a couple of months before a list of the branches will be revealed.
Even then, it is believed that no stores will close this year and will continue to trade through Christmas.
Branches will close in batches, with the first lot expected to shut up shop in early 2020.
Will there be any job losses?
Debenhams currently employs 25,000 staff.
If stores close then its likely this will lead to job cuts, although no details about this are known at the moment.
Usually a retailer will try and move existing staff to a different branch, but there’s no guarantee this will happen.
Are shops still open, can you use gift cards and what are your rights?
All branches are still open as usual and all orders will be honoured.
You can continue to use gift cards and return items too.
Although, if things go wrong or the administrator decides to stop accepting them you could lose out, so it’s advisable to spend them quickly.
There will be no changes to Debenhams reward club or its personal finance products, such as its credit card or insurance.
If you’re worried about buying from Debenhams there are ways you can protect yourself.
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For example, if you want to buy a big item like a sofa or tumble dryer.
If you pay using a credit card you’ll be protected by Section 75 of the consumer credit act, as long as you pay over £100 and under £30,000.Is there a ‘closing down’ sale on at Debenhams?
No, but there are lots of discounts.
Debenhams currently has a range of offers on including 30 per cent of designer kidswear, 20 per cent of homeware and 30 per cent of garden furniture.
The discounts are not connected to the administration of the retailer and it is not a closing down sale.

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