| 30 November 2022, Wednesday |

Debenhams stores close their doors, continue to trade online

More than 240 years after the department store began trading, the last remaining Debenhams have closed their doors on Saturday.

Shoppers have flocked to the last remaining outlets to pick up bargains in closing-down sales. But the last 28 stores will now be shuttered for good.

The Debenhams brand will continue to trade online after it was bought by the fashion retailer Boohoo for £55m in January.

There were more than 150 Debenhams stores across the UK, but the chain went into administration in 2019 after several years of falling sales. However, the pandemic was the final blow.

In December, its owners declared the business was being wound down with 12,000 job losses.

After lockdown, 97 stores reopened to allow the last stock to be cleared, and they have gradually been closed over the last two weeks.

The last outlets have been plastered with sale signs, offering a mish-mash of items, from bikinis to cafetieres, at bargain basement prices.

Debenhams was an anchor store, especially in many mid-sized town centers, such as Mansfield, where it opened its shopping center-based site in 1976.

Shelves were empty in the cosmetic department this week, while boxes of left-over coat hangers were free to anyone who wanted them.

But as the shop entered its final few days of trading, there were more customers than there had been for some time, said shop staff.

They recalled that in its early days, the store sold a huge range of goods, from loft ladders to greenhouses.