Debenhams faces administration for second time in one year

Former Debenhams site at Westwood Cross

Debenhams may go into administration for the second time in one year.

The retailer is understood to be considering filing for administration next week. The firm, which has a store at Westwood Cross, employs 22,000 people across the country.

The aim is to shield the company from legal claims from creditors during the coronavirus outbreak. The majority of staff are currently furloughed following the closure of its 142 stores in line with government regulations and will have 80% of their wages covered for three months by the government.

Last April the company announced details of two proposed Company Voluntary Arrangements (the “CVA”): one relating to Debenhams Retail Limited, the main trading entity; and one relating to Debenhams Properties Limited. However, 22 stores were listed for closure, including one n Canterbury.

The decision to go into administration is not yet finalised and another solution may be found.

A Debenhams spokesperson said: “Like all retailers, Debenhams is making contingency plans reflecting the extraordinary current circumstances. Our owners and lenders remain highly supportive and whatever actions we may take will be with a view to protecting the business during the current situation.

“While our stores remain closed in line with government guidance, and the majority of our store-facing colleagues have been furloughed, our website continues to trade and we are accepting customer orders, gift cards and returns.”


  1. It’s really terrible news.
    Specially when high streets are non descript round here
    It also seems wrong when other local firms are allowed to be doing crime offshore such as what is called ponzi shells, offshore leaks, being part of bigger crime.
    Administration of a large store seems wrong. Hope they can bail out… We need our high street shops.

  2. No other solution will be found.When a firm goes into administration twice and in such circumstances it is unlikely that much can be saved from the wreck.
    Debenhams is heavily over leveraged and paying high rents on sites like this.It is also suffering from on line competition and a downturn in retail trade. Now with the complete shut down weakened companies likes this are unlikely to survive.
    There will be quite a few non human victims of the coronavirus and this company may be one of them.
    If you believe in market forces then business failures like this and the rising dominance of amazon are a consequence of those forces.
    My worry is what else is not going to revive after the emergency?
    I strongly suspect that the Govt’s initial reluctance to shutdown the economy, was because if feared for the future of the economy.
    Can we stop making unsubstantiated claims of wrong doing without evidence, it makes no sense and is a diversion from the real issues.

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