Department store chain Debenhams is to be liquidated putting 12,000 jobs on the line, it is being reported this morning.
The news came after it emerged 13,000 staff of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group face an anxious wait following the business collapsing into administration.
It’s a blow for staff at the Magdalen Street branch who face losing their jobs and comes after historic department store Boswells closed earlier this year.
The 12,000 jobs at the chain’s 124 stores are set to go over the coming months unless the administrators do a deal for all or parts of the business as the process unfolds.
It is understood staff were told on Tuesday morning.
Debenhams outlets will continue to accept the firm’s store cards and process returns as normal.
Hilco, the restructuring firm which specialises in winding up retailers, will start going into stores on Wednesday to begin clearing stock.
Arcadia, which includes the Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton brands, has hired Deloitte to handle the next steps after the pandemic “severely impacted” sales across its brands.
Many of Arcadia’s staff worked at its brands’ concessions in Debenhams, which is itself hoping for a rescue deal after sliding into insolvency earlier this year.
Debenhams’ future is now in doubt, with JD Sports expected to pull out of talks to rescue the department store.
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.