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Debenhams will not reopen in Birmingham's Bullring

By John Corser | Birmingham | Business | Published:

The huge Debenhams department store in Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre is not going to be reopening. It is one of five of its UK stores which will stay shut following the easing of lockdown.

The giant Debenhams store at the Bullring in Birmingham

The retailer said that despite "best efforts" it had been unable to agree terms with shopping centre owner Hammerson to reopen the branches, after falling into administration last month.

It has been reported that the closures may result in about 1,400 job losses across the five branches.

The other stores are in Croydon's Centrale shopping centre, Silverburn in Glasgow, High Cross in Leicester, and Reading's Oracle.

A spokesman for Debenhams said: "We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.

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"We continue to engage in constructive talks with our landlords and have agreed terms on the vast majority of our stores, which we look forward to reopening when government restrictions allow.

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"This is no reflection on the commitment of our colleagues in these stores and we are extremely grateful for their support."

Last month Debenhams closed seven outlets, including Kidderminster, resulting in the loss of 422 jobs, though it said it had agreed terms with landlords to continue trading at 120 of its 142 UK stores.

The retailer entered administration on April 9, appointing FRP Advisory to oversee the process, casting a shadow over the future of its 22,000 staff.

At the time the majority of its employees in the UK were being paid under the Government's furlough scheme.

Debenhams has been in the Bullring since the shopping centre opened after a major redevelopment in September 2003.

It was the fourth biggest Debenhams in the country at 19,230 sq metres and opened in the three-storey mall 20 years after the company closed its original Birmingham city centre store due to declining trade.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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