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End for Debenhams in Stratford

Debenhams in High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
Debenhams in High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford’s Debenhams store has closed its doors for the final time and will not re-open when coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

The future of the store has been up in the air for some time, with the company previously stating it would close at some point in the next two years.

Last week Debenhams entered an administration agreement and has been in negotiations with landlords to agree terms on their stores, but Stratford is one of seven across the country where the company has been unable to reach an agreement.

The Debenhams store in Leamington is one of the other six that will also not re-open across the country, though more may join that list.

Debenhams CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste, said: “I’m delighted with the progress we are making with our landlord discussions which reflects the pragmatic view the vast majority of them are taking of the current market conditions. We have agreed terms on the vast majority of our UK stores and talks are proceeding positively on the remainder, positioning us to reopen these stores when government regulations permit.

“Regrettably we have been unable to reach agreement on seven stores and these will not be reopening, and I’d like to express my thanks to our colleagues in these stores at what I know is a difficult time for everyone.”

422 members of staff across the 7 stores will be affected and have been informed of the closures.

Debenhams say they are still aiming to retain more than 100 stores across the country when the company comes out of administration.

Last year Blue Coast Capital, the developers of Bell Court and owners of the Debenhams unit, unveiled plans for a new hotel on the site.

Blue Coast Capital have always said their plans were put in place in case Debenhams decided to vacate the unit in the future, while the retailer has said the landlord's plans to redevelop the unit were the reason the store would likely close.

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