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Andy Street optimistic Wolverhampton's Debenhams will remain open

By Jamie Brassington | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street believes Wolverhampton's Debenhams store will survive after the company fell into administration.

There is current uncertainty surrounding Debenhams as lenders seized control of the company on Tuesday amid financial difficulty.

But Mr Street is optimistic that the retailer's 93,000 sq ft department store, which opened at the Mander Centre in October 2017, will not face closure.

Mr Street was the former of boss of John Lewis before quitting his role to become the West Midlands Mayor.

He told the Express & Star: "It is extremely sad about the Debenhams situation. Not many years ago they were a great competitor. We used to make roughly the same amount of money each year.

"It is most importantly sad for the employees and suppliers who will naturally be worried.

"I would hope that the shop in Wolverhampton, which is of course a very new and modern shop will be – but we can't be certain of everything – that a new and modern shop would be designed to be successful going forward.

"Of course the other thing to say about that is, it is in a successful centre and we have just seen some new news about new investors in the centre as well. So I would be hopeful around that."

Debenhams also has stores at Merry Hill, Dudley and Old Square, Walsall.

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Debenhams is looking to close 50 stories as it faces too much debt and it is looking at a financial restructure, the Express & Star understands.

A spokesman for Debenhams declined to comment on store closures.

Debenhams in Wolverhampton

Mr Street gave his comments on Debenhams after visiting Zuri Coffee, in Lichfield Street, to meet with Wolverhampton's Small Business Forum, to discuss business ideas going ahead for Wolverhampton and the Black Country.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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