JD Sports backs out of Debenhams bid

Debenhams stores are set to close after its last remaining bidder, JD Sports, has withdrawn its offer to take over the ailing departments store.

It is expected that the retailer’s 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when the chain’s 124 shops cease trading, unless the administrators do a deal for all or parts of the business.

The 242-year-old retailer, which found itself in administration in April, had already trimmed its store portfolio and cut about 6,500 jobs since May as it struggled to stay afloat.

Restructuring firm Hilco will start going into stores on Wednesday to begin clearing stock.

Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, joint administrator to Debenhams and Partner at FRP, said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams.

“However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.”

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