Debenhams closure: Scarborough shoppers react with shock and sadness at the news

Scarborough shoppers have told of their shock and dismay at the news that the town's Debenhams is to close.

By George Buksmann
Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 3:56 pm

The national company had been in administration since April, but with a rescue bid withdrawn by JD Sports it means 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs.

The Scarborough News interviewed people in Westborough to get their reaction to the impending closure of the store, which is in the Brunswick Shopping Centre.

Gregory Ward reacted with surprise: “It’s going to be very difficult for them isn’t it, I don’t suppose there’s any coming back from this now.

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Scarborough's branch of Debenhams will close.

“Locally it’s a nightmare really because without a Debenhams in there it’s difficult to imagine how the Brunswick Shopping Centre will survive now.

“Everybody says, ‘oh what a disaster’ but how many people shop in there on a regular basis? We shop in the Brunswick when it’s open but it’s going to leave a massive hole not only on this high street but on lots of high streets right around the country."

Shopper Sarah McGuire said: “It's been around for a long time, it will be really sad to lose it. There’s a lot of good businesses in there and it’s quite sad not only just for Debenhams but for every business that’s going under, it’s just really sad.

“I can’t imagine how many people are going to be made redundant.

The closure of Debenhams follows Topshop and Topman going into administration as part of the Arcadia group.

"There’s people that I know there that have worked there a long time and don’t know any different and it’s sad for them, it’s just not nice at all.”

Barbara Payne added: “I just think it’s a shame, we haven’t got much here at all.”

George Wardell was not surprised by the closure, he said that this year alone over the Black Friday weekend he had spent almost all of his money through one retailer, Amazon.

“Even last year without the coronavirus pandemic I don’t think I spent any money across the Black Friday weekend in high street stores and it makes me feel quite bad.

"But the truth is the prices are so much better online so you’ve just got to support yourself the best way you can."

Jessica Boeters said that if she comes into town to do clothes or gift shopping she would have gone to Debenhams.

“They employ a lot of people and they also sell a variety of things, they aim for every age so for a town like Scarborough it’s going to be a big miss because it’s the only large department store that we have."

Kwanele Khupe added: “The high street is dying, but you need established companies like Debenhams to lead the way, so if they’re shutting, how will the small shops survive? It’s bad news for the high street.”