Sussex Debenhams store set to close as retailer struggles

Debenhams has been placed into administration. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Debenhams has been placed into administration. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Department store giant Debenhams has announced it will be closing a store in Sussex as part of a restructuring deal.

Its store in Terminus Road, Eastbourne is one of 22 named today by the brand for closure.

It follows confirmation at the end of 2018 that the chain would close 50 stores in a bid to stabilise its finances.

Stores in Worthing, Crawley, Hastings and Brighton are not on the list of 22 earmarked for closure in the first stage of that programme, but may still be at risk in the future.

Earlier this month, the department store rejected a £200million offer from Sports Direct, whose CEO Mike Ashley already owns 29 per cent of Debenhams shares.

The closures have been announced today as part of a CVA, the same type of restructuring deal followed by House of Fraser.

All Debenhams stores are proposed to remain open during 2019, including through Christmas peak trading, with Eastbourne’s store and others set to close in 2020.

A message on the retailer’s customer service line is assuring customers that all gift cards will be honoured and trading is continuing as normal.

Terry

Terry Duddy, executive chairman of Debenhams, said: “The issues facing the UK high street are very well known.

“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment.

“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”