Struggling department store operator to shed 22 stores under CVA
Debenhams has launched its long-expected CVA with a raft of store closures and the threat of rent reductions on those stores that are retained.
The 22 stores expected to close in 2020 are: Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney, Wolverhampton.
Further store closures will be confirmed in due course, the final number being dependent on future trading performance; discussions with landlords regarding changes in lease terms and rental levels and with local authorities regarding business rates.
Executive chairman Terry Duddy 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.”