Earlier this month, Debenhams announced that five of its stores would not reopen their doors after lockdown. It is understood that it was unable to agree terms with Centrale owner, Hammerson.
A spokesperson for Debenhams said: ”We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.
“We continue to engage in constructive talks with our landlords and have agreed terms on the vast majority of our stores, which we look forward to reopening when government restrictions allow.
“This is no reflection on the commitment of our colleagues in these stores and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
This announcement is in keeping with the decline in high street retail across the UK. It’s a story being played out on high streets up and down the county and yet there remains no tangible plan from central government to deal with it. This is one of many issues now being highlighted and accelerated due to the Coronavirus crisis.
However, shortly after this news broke, residents were delighted to learn that Next will be opening a Beauty Hall in the space.
Labour Leader of Croydon Council Tony Newman responded to the news: “The sad news that Debenhams Centrale is one of five stores to close is a reflection of longstanding trends in UK retail, exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis facing high street retailers.
“I am delighted to hear of the plans from Next to move into the space, reducing the impact this closure has on our residents.
“We call on Next to give first priority of employment to those losing their jobs at Debenhams.
“In this Covid-19 crisis, with workers facing a financial cliff edge at the hands of this government, we must do everything we can to protect our resident’s income”.