Debenhams set to close historic Doncaster shop after JD Sports rescue bid collapses

Doncaster’s Debenhams store will indefinitely shut as the firm formally starts liquidation talks with 12,000 jobs at risk.
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The town’s branch inside the Frenchgate Centre, North Central Square will remain open, as the chain continues to trade through its 134 UK stores in an attempt to clear its current stock.

It comes after Debenhams officially started a liquidation process that will put 12,000 employees at risk of losing their job, following the news that JD Sports has pulled out of a possible rescue deal.

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The department store chain which is 242-years-old confirmed that its administrators have “regretfully” decided to start winding down operations while continuing to seek offers “for all or parts of the business”.

Doncaster's Debenhams store will not reopen after the firm formally goes into liquidation.Doncaster's Debenhams store will not reopen after the firm formally goes into liquidation.
Doncaster's Debenhams store will not reopen after the firm formally goes into liquidation.

Rescue talks in part collapsed after the Arcadia Group – which owns Topshop, Wallis and Evans – went into administration yesterday (Monday, November 30) which is the biggest operator of concessions in the chain’s branches.

It is understood that the collapse of rescue talks were partly linked to the administration of Arcadia Group, which is the biggest operator of concessions in Debenhams stores.

In a statement, the company said: “On conclusion of this process, if no alternative offers have been received, the UK operations will close.”

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Joint administrator to Debenhams, Geoff Rowley, of FRP Advisory added: “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.

“We are very grateful for the efforts of the management team and staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading.

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"We would also like to thank the landlords, suppliers and partners who have continued to work with Debenhams through this turbulent period and can reassure them that all contractual obligations entered into in the administration period will be met in full.”

The business, which had already cut 6,500 staff in an attempt to cut costs, entered administration for the second time in a year.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.