Debenhams to be wound down in UK after rescue talks fail

Debenhams to be wound down in UK after rescue talks fail

Debenhams, which is already in administration, said it would start a liquidation process after JD Sports confirmed it had pulled out of a possible rescue. The department store has around 12,000 staff.

The jobs of around 25,000 staff at Arcadia and Debenhams hang in the balance in the UK today.

Some 13,000 staff at the Arcadia Group face an anxious wait following the business collapsing into administration.

And Debenhams, which is already in administration, said it would start a liquidation process after JD Sports confirmed it had pulled out of a possible rescue. The department store has around 12,000 staff.

Last month in Ireland, the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste confirmed that the current Chair of the Labour Court, Kevin Foley, would mediate in the dispute involving Debenhams employees in Ireland.

The Government said it was appealing to "all sides to make every effort to resolve this ongoing dispute”.

In the UK, Arcadia's brands, which includes Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton, has hired Deloitte to handle the next steps after the pandemic "severely impacted" upon sales across its brands.

Many of Arcadia's staff worked at its brands' concessions in Debenhams, which had hoped for a rescue.

Despite this, a spokesperson for Arcadia Group confirmed to The Echo yesterday that Topshop on Opera Lane, and other stores under the Arcadia banner across Ireland, would reopen this morning along with other non-essential retail outlets on Tuesday as Covid-19 restrictions ease.

Exclusive talks with JD Sports have now ended after the sports chain retailer walked away. A winding down process has begun.

Arcadia, which runs 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas, said 9,294 employees are currently on furlough.

No redundancies have been announced as a result of the appointment and stores will continue to trade, the administrators said, with many due to reopen on Wednesday when England's lockdown is lifted.

Ian Grabiner, chief executive of Arcadia, said: "This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders.

"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.

"Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.

"Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe."

More in this section

Sponsored Content