Shop workers are facing a bleak Christmas after it was announced the Debenhams store in Livingston will close after last minute attempts to save the chain failed.

Talks between the department store and JD Sports have collapsed, meaning it is likely all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when its 124 shops cease trading.

The devastating news comes just days after the Arcadia group went into administration.

The jobs of its workers at Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop and Topman stores, also in The Centre, are also now at risk, along with 13,000 nationwide, although it said no redundancies will take place immediately.

Arcadia has hired administrators from Deloitte after the pandemic “severely impacted” sales across the group and stores will continue to trade, although all Arcadia stores are currently closed due to Tier 4 restrictions.

Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory, joint administrator to Debenhams and Partner at FRP. said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams.

 

“However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.”

Ian Grabiner, the boss of Arcadia, said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had “severely impacted on trading”.

He continued: “Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group, in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.

“Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”

Are you an employee of Debenhams or the Arcadia Group and have been affected by the announcements? Please contact [email protected]