Department store chain, Debenhams, has confirmed that another three of its branches will not reopen after lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Debenhams fell into administration in April for the second time in a year, but made deals with landlords to keep most of its 142 stores open.
But now three more stores will now close. Here’s what you need know.
The Milton Keynes, Watford and Metrocentre Gateshead stores will also now permanently close, jeopardising 300 jobs, after the Intu stores have not been able to renegotiate rent.
Why are Debenhams stores closing?
Debenhams first collapsed in April 2019, but agreed to a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with its landlords to cut costs in order to save the business.
As part of the agreement, the retailer had to close 22 stores in January 2020. A further 28 closures are planned for 2021.
At the beginning of April 2020, Debenhams still had 142 stores operating.
However, in April 2020, it was forced to appoint administrators for the second time in a year to protect it from its creditors, as the Covid-19 crisis forced the chain to shut its stores on a temporary basis.
Negotiations with landlords were accelerated to agree new terms and conditions, which included a five-month rent and service charge holiday.
Although Debenhams has managed to strike deals on most of its stores, in the last few weeks it has emerged that a number of branches will close permanently once the government lifts restrictions on non-essential shops.
The retailer is still trading online "normally" while its shops are temporarily closed.
Why has Debenhams been experiencing difficulty?
The department store chain had been struggling for years to keep up with competition from its rivals.
Last year, it fell into the hands of its lenders, which comprised a group of banks and hedge funds led by US firm Silver Point Capital.
Debenhams has also faced rising costs in running its big stores, alongside dealing with a large amount of debt.
The coronavirus lockdown, which has forced all stores to close temporarily, has caused further problems for the business.
Which stores will not reopen after lockdown?
- Milton Keynes
- Metrocentre, Gateshead
- Kings Lynn
- Merthyr Tydfil
- South Shields