Debenhams set to close putting 12,000 jobs at risk

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Debenhams stores are set to close after the failure of last-ditch efforts to rescue the ailing department store chain, the BBC understands.

It means all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when the chain’s 124 shops cease trading.

Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in April and hopes had rested on a rescue bid from JD Sports.

But after the sports chain pulled out, hopes of saving the 242-year-old department store chain faded.

The 12,000 jobs at the retailer are set to go over the coming months unless the administrators do a deal for all or parts of the business as the process unfolds.

It is understood staff were told on Tuesday morning.

Hilco, the restructuring firm which specialists in winding up retailers, will start going into stores on Wednesday to begin clearing stock.

Debenhams’ news comes just hours after Topshop owner Arcadia collapsed into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

Tough trading during the coronavirus pandemic proved to be the final blow for both firms, which employ more than 25,000 people between them.

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