UK retailer Debenhams to be liquidated

A Debenhams store is pictured in Liverpool, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Liverpool, Britain, June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Molly Darlington

LONDON (Reuters) – British department store retailer Debenhams is to be liquidated after failing to find a buyer, administrators FRP Advisory said on Tuesday. It said it would start a wind-down of Debenhams, whilst continuing to seek offers for all or parts of the business.

The collapse of Debenhams, which trades from 124 UK stores and employs 12,000, came a day after Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group entered administration, threatening about 13,000 jobs.

British tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia fashion group has collapsed into administration, putting over 13,000 jobs at risk and becoming the country’s biggest corporate casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic so far.


Arcadia’s workforce also faces uncertainty over a deficit in the company’s pension fund, estimated by analysts at about 350 million pounds.

As part of last year’s restructuring Arcadia agreed to provide 210 million pounds of security over property assets to the pension schemes, while Tina Green, Philip’s wife and the ultimate owner of Arcadia, agreed to contribute 100 million pounds to the schemes over three years.

“Philip Green should do the right thing and fill the Arcadia pension deficit,” said opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer. If he does not pay up, Arcadia’s 10,000 pension scheme members should still receive the bulk of their entitlement through the government’s lifeboat scheme, the Pension Protection Fund.

Source: Reuters