Struggling department store chain Debenhams it is permanently closing its flagship Oxford Street store in London after failing to agree a new lease agreement.
Debenhams began winding down its business on December 1 after entering administration, but had hoped to keep many of its stores open in order to sell of its stock.
The company’s administrators have now revealed that following the renewed national lockdown it has been unable to agree lease extensions at six of its stores, including the Oxford Street branch.
Staff working at the five stores outside of London were told the sites were closing last week. In total 320 members of staff have been made redundant following the announcements.
The sites that have now permanently closed are:
- Oxford Street, London
Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and partner at FRP Advisory, said: “We continue to engage with interested parties over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams, but inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business.
“We regret the impact on those colleagues affected by today’s announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”
The closure of the Oxford Street store will also impact staff working at Debenhams’ London support centre, which sits above the store. For the time being staff from the support centre will continue to work from home, as per government coronavirus guidelines. The company’s second support centre in Taunton remains operational.
Debenhams stores that remain open are continuing to run closing down sales in attempt to liquidate its stock. The sale is also being carried out online.