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Debenhams set to close putting jobs at risk and changing town centre landscape

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The Debenhams Store in Oxford city centre, across from Boswell store which closed earlier in 2020
The Debenhams Store in Oxford city centre, across from Boswell store which closed earlier in 2020
  • 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when the chain ceases trading over the coming months
  • Closure of Oxford’s Magdalen Road shop, adjacent empty Boswell Store, will change shopping landscape of Oxford city centre

Debenhams stores are set to close after the last-ditch efforts to rescue the ailing store chain failed. It means all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when the chain’s 124 shops cease trading over the coming months unless the administrators are able to do a deal for all or parts of the business as the process unfolds.

The news comes just hours after Topshop owner Arcadia fell into administration, putting an additional 13,000 jobs at risk.

Debenhams itself had been in administration since April. Hopes of a rescue were crushed after the last remaining bidder, JD Sports, withdrew. Debenhams outlets will continue to accept the firm’s store cards and process returns as normal.

It is left to be seen what impact the closure of the Debenhams store in Oxford, which occupies a sizeable location on the corner of Magdalen Street and George Street adjacent the now empty Boswell store which closed earlier in the year will have on the shopping landscape of Oxford’s city centre.

In July, plans were unveiled to transform the Boswells building into a 4-star boutique hotel by developer Reef Group and Oxford City Council who own the freehold to part of the site.

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