Debenhams closures: Harrogate store's good news

It is believed Harrogate's Debenhams is not among the branches identified to close by the famous national chain.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:10 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 1:14 pm
Debenhams store on Parliament Street in Harrogate.
Debenhams store on Parliament Street in Harrogate.

The struggling department store business, which employs 25,000 people in total, has issued a list of stores earmarked for closure early next year.

Towns and cities named in the list off 22 stores include Altrincham, Canterbury, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Southport, Wimbledon and Wolverhampton.

But Harrogate's Debenhams, based in a prime spot on Parliament Street on the corner of Westminster Arcade is not on the list and is trading as normal.

The continued existence of Harrogate Debenhams is a welcome boost for the town's retail sector in tough times.

In total 1,200 jobs will be at risk from the announcement of closures which follows the launch of an insolvency process known as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) after Debenhams was taken over by its lenders a fortnight ago.The new owners of this famous high street name are a consortium of banks and hedge funds.

Meanwhile, shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has called for urgent talks to give staff a voice in the future of the company.Dave Gill - Usdaw National Officer said: “This is more devastating news for staff who have been working under the threat of store closures for some time. They have been left on the side-lines as a game of corporate monopoly has been played out in the media. "Usdaw’s Save Our Shops campaign urges the Government to take urgent action to address the challenges facing retail. "Three million people are employed directly in the retail sector and another 1.5 million jobs rely on the success of shops. In recent years, hundreds and thousands of jobs have been lost in retail, with large and small retailers alike closing their doors. "The time for action is long overdue and we need an industrial strategy for retail.”