Sky News has reported that Debenhams, the 242-year old department store retailer, has appointed Hilco Capital to work on contingency plans should a sale process for Debenhams prove unsuccessful.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has already had a devastating effect on retail this year. The virus has affected not only sales and sourcing, but it has also resulted in store closures and staff redundancies across multiple firms.
Sky’s report said that Hilco's role had been described as "contingency planning" to secure its future ahead of the all-important fourth quarter.
The retailer currently employs around 14,000 people, having announced this week that it was cutting a further 2500 members of its workforce. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Debenhams has cut more than 4,000 jobs.
Debenhams has been in administration since April, when the UK-wide lockdown was imposed, enforcing the closure of all ‘non-essential’ retail stores.
The Sky report cited a recent statement issued by a Debenhams spokesperson: "Debenhams is trading strongly, with 124 stores reopened and a healthy cash position.
"As a result, and as previously stated, the administrators of Debenhams Retail have initiated a process to assess ways for the business to exit its protective administration.
"The administrators have appointed advisors to help them assess the full range of possible outcomes which include the current owners retaining the business, potential new joint venture arrangements (with existing and potential new investors) or a sale to a third party."