Debenhams on brink of collapse as thousands of jobs at risk

The department store chain has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.

Department store chain Debenhams is on the brink of collapse after bosses confirmed it has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.

The company, which has more than a dozen stores in Scotland, said it has the support of its lenders to enter administration and is engaging with employees and suppliers over the move.

The move will affect around 22,000 workers in across the UK.

The majority of Debenhams employees in the UK are currently being paid under the government’s furlough scheme, after its stores closed following the shutdown of non-essential stores due to the coronavirus crisis.

The department store chain said it will continue to trade online across the UK, Ireland and Denmark and customer orders, gift cards and returns are being accepted and processed normally. 

In a statement, Debenhams said: “Department store group Debenhams today has filed a Notice of Intent to appoint an administrator in the UK.

“This move will protect Debenhams from the threat of legal action that could have the effect of pushing the business into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed in line with the government’s current advice regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The group is making preparations to resume trading its stores once government restrictions are lifted.”