The Frasers Group could come to a last minute rescue for the ailing Debenhams chain.
The future for thousands of Debenhams employees, including those at Westwood Cross, has been hanging in the balance after rescue talks with JD Sports collapsed.
It is understood the JD Sports withdrawal was due to Arcadia – which has also collapsed – being a main concession operator at the stores.
That left Debenhams facing the prospect of being wound down with the closure of 124 stores and the loss of some 12,000 jobs.
The company had already closed a number of outlets and cut more than 6,000 staff this year.
The collapse of Arcadia – responsible for stores such as Top Shop -has put 13,000 jobs at risk.
Today (December 7) a statement issued by the Frasers Group on the London Stock Exchange confirmed negotiations were underway to look at a rescue.
The statement says: “The Company confirms that it is in negotiations with the administrators of Debenhams’ UK business regarding a potential rescue transaction for Debenhams’ UK operations.
“Whilst Frasers Group hopes that a rescue package can be put in place and jobs saved, time is short and the position is further complicated by the recent administration of the Arcadia Group, Debenhams’ biggest concession holder.
“There is no certainty that any transaction will take place, particularly if discussions cannot be concluded swiftly.”
It is understood negotiations are only for around one quarter of the stores under threat.