Debenhams store in Harrogate set to close as company fails to agree rescue deal

The Debenhams department store in Harrogate is set to close its doors after a deal to save the business failed.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 2:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 2:42 pm

Debenhams is to start a liquidation process after JD Sports confirmed it had pulled out of a possible rescue deal,.

The business has said it will continue to trade for now, in order to clear stock as administrators seek a buyer for all or parts of the business - with 12,000 jobs now at risk.

The Debenhams department store on Parliament Street is set to close after the company was unable to agree a rescue deal.

The news means stores across the country, including those in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, will have to close.

A statement from Debenhams said: "The sale process has not resulted in a deliverable proposal.

"Given the current trading environment and the likely prolonged effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for a restructured operation is highly uncertain.

"The administrators have therefore regretfully concluded that they should commence a wind-down of Debenhams UK, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business."

The department store had been considering a potential sale of the company since summer, after it went into administration in April, for the second time in a year and axed 6,500 jobs.

JD Sports and Debenhams had reportedly been closing in on a deal, but retail giant Arcadia entered into administration on Monday (30 Nov), contributing to JD Sports’ change of mind.

In a statement to investors, the sports retail chain said, "JD Sports Fashion, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated.

"Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group could potentially seek a deal, but if no buyer is found, a liquidation of the UK business will take place, which will result in the closure of 124 UK stores and the loss of the workforce.