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Post-Bankruptcy, Debenhams Is Permanently Closing the Last of All of Its Stores by Next Weekend

By next weekend, Debenhams will no longer have any brick-and-mortar stores.

The British department store chain, which fell into administration last year for the second time, has confirmed the permanent closures of its remaining 49 outposts on May 12 and May 15. It had previously announced that another 52 of its locations will shutter for good this Saturday.

“Over the next 10 days, Debenhams will close its doors on the high street for the final time in its 242-year history,” the company wrote in a statement. “We hope to see you all one last time in stores before we say a final goodbye to the U.K. high street.”

As part of the liquidation process, the retailer — whose entire store portfolio is located in the United Kingdom — is offering up to 80% off all fashion and home merchandise, as well as up to 70% off beauty and fragrance items.

“This the very last chance for our customers to take advantage of some incredible deals,” it added. “Our sincere thanks go out to all of our colleagues and customers who have joined us on this journey.”

Like many retailers, Debenhams’ struggles were compounded by the COVID-19 health crisis, which led it to temporarily close its units and place workers on furlough. In April, it appointed administrators but was ultimately unable to find a buyer or restructure its business, and in December, the chain moved forward with a wind-down of its operations.

At the start of the calendar year, online fashion retailer Boohoo announced that it acquired all of the intellectual property assets of Debenhams, including customer data and selected contracts, for 55 million pounds (or $75.4 million at the time). However, the deal did not include the department store’s outposts or its staff members — meaning more than 12,000 people will lose their jobs upon the shutdowns.

Debenhams’ goodbye marks the latest development in the blow to Britain’s retail sector. Just yesterday, Topshop — whose parent Arcadia Group collapsed into administration in late November — launched a sale process for its iconic flagship store on Oxford Street. The building, which was valued at about 500 million pounds as recently as two years ago, now carries a price tag of 420 million pounds (or $582.1 million).

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