Debenhams closes all 15 Scottish stores; 647 jobs lost

Debenhams recently decided to close all 15 of its stores in Scotland, rendering almost 650 jobless, as administrators provide an update on the retailer’s liquidation and wind-down process. However, following announcements of UK plans to ease lockdown for non-essential retailers, the collapsed department store chain confirmed it intends to re-open its stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for a short period to complete its stock liquidation process.

In England, the lockdown is expected to be over no earlier than April 12 based on the latest government guidance.

Meanwhile, the Scottish government said the reopening of non-essential stores there would not begin until April 26 at the earliest, and that this would then be on a tiered basis.

According to administrators of Debenhams, this timeline did not align with those expected in other parts of the United Kingdom, prompting it to make the decision to not reopen its Scottish stores briefly as it plans to do so in England, according to British media reports.

“With the planned wind-down of the Debenhams business, regrettably our 15 stores in Scotland will now not reopen and are closed permanently,” the retailer said in its update.

Debenhams went into liquidation in December, after an administration process failed to secure any buyers to save the department store chain. A month later, its brand and assets were purchased by Boohoo Group in a £55-million deal.

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