All Debenhams stores, including Scarborough's, to close as Boohoo deal won't save shops

Fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website for £55m but will not take on any of the firm's remaining 188 High Street stores or its workforce.

By Lyndsey Young
Monday, 25th January 2021, 9:44 am
Updated Monday, 25th January 2021, 9:48 am
Scarborough's branch of Debenhams will close.
Scarborough's branch of Debenhams will close.

Boohoo said it was a "transformational deal" and a "huge step". But the deal means that up to 12,000 jobs at the department store chain are set to go.

The Scarborough branch had only recently survived a list of national closures after administrators failed to secure a deal, so this news is a devastating blow for the town.

The administrators of Debenhams UK, FRP Advisory, said: "This transaction will allow a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge under strong new ownership, including an online operation and the opportunity to secure an international franchise network that will operate under licence using the Debenhams name."

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Its executive chairman, Mahmud Kamani, said: "This is a transformational deal for the group, which allows us to capture the fantastic opportunity as ecommerce continues to grow. Our ambition is to create the UK's largest marketplace.

"Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion ecommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware."

Boohoo said Debenhams was expected to relaunch on Boohoo's web platform in early 2022.

In the meantime, Debenhams will continue to operate its website for an agreed period.