Debenhams puts administrators on standby

Suppliers and staff will continue to be paid during ‘light touch’ administration, which aims protect 142 store estate once coronavirus retail restrictions are lifted

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 06.04.2020 | Retail

Debenhams puts administrators on standby thumbnail

Debenhams today filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator, as its stores sit empty amid government-imposed retail closures.

The retail group says it intends to enter a ‘light touch’ administration, whereby the current management team remain in place under the stewardship and guidance of the administrators. The move aims to ensure Debenhams’ 142 UK stores can being trading once more as soon as the shut down is lifted.

Stefaan Vansteenkiste, CEO of Debenhams, says: “These are unprecedented circumstances and we have taken this step to protect our business, our employees, and other important stakeholders, so that we are in a position to resume trading from our stores when government restrictions are lifted.”

Lenders back the move, Debenhams says, and have provided the funding to begin the administration process, which will allow the business to continue with its obligations to staff and suppliers within a protective arrangement. Most staff have been furloughed and will receive their pay through the government’s 80 per cent scheme, and payments to suppliers who continue to provide goods during the administration will not be affected, Debenhams says.

“We are working with a group of highly supportive owners and lenders and anticipate that additional funding will be made available to bridge us through the current crisis period,” the chief executive adds.

“With their support and working with other key stakeholders, including landlords, pension trustees and business partners, we are striving to protect jobs and reopen as many Debenhams stores for trading as we can, as soon as this is possible.”

Debenhams continues to trade online across the UK, Ireland and Denmark, in line with government guidelines, while the lockdown continues. Customer orders, gift cards and returns are being accepted and processed normally.

Smart Games unveils two new brain busters thumbnail

Smart Games unveils two new brain busters

Cube Duel and Plug & Play Puzzler join the Smart Toys and Games portfolio

HRH The Princess Royal reads Thomas and the Royal Engine thumbnail

HRH The Princess Royal reads Thomas and the Royal Engine

The Princess Royal marks the end of Save the Children’s Save With Stories initiative with the tale of Thomas the ...

Lego puts pop art back in the picture thumbnail

Lego puts pop art back in the picture

New Lego Art sets featuring Marvel and Star Wars characters and famous celebrities help adults get into the right ‘frame’ ...

Press Releases

Radio silence broken on Novel Entertainment’s new Horrid Henry podcast thumbnail

Radio silence broken on Novel Entertainment’s new Horrid Henry podcast

The first podcast based on the award-winning Horrid Henry TV series will launch this week under new ‘Horrid Henry Unlocked’ ...

APC Kids signs trio of deals for CTC Media’s Kid-E-Cats thumbnail

APC Kids signs trio of deals for CTC Media’s Kid-E-Cats

New deals sees hit property’s footprint expand in Asia, Latin America and North America

Live the track with the Lego Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R thumbnail

Live the track with the Lego Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R

The Lego Group has revealed its latest Lego Technic model – the Ducati Panigale V4 R

Have a field day with Britains’ New Holland Tractor! thumbnail

Have a field day with Britains’ New Holland Tractor!

Tomy has revealed the latest launch from Britains – a New Holland T8.435 Tractor