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Gloucestershire Business News

Debenhams rescue talks continue

Debenhams' deadline for takeover bids has been and gone, but rescue talks are still continuing.

The department store chain, which has a branch in Gloucester, was put up for sale in July. Interested buyers were asked to submit their offers by 5pm on Tuesday (1st September), as reported by Retail Gazette.

Debenhams is looking for a deal by the end of September, or it will look into other options which could put more than 12,000 jobs at risk. But it has said that liquidation will be a last resort.

Even if a sale is agreed, one of the possible outcomes is getting rid of more than half of Debenhams' stores - leaving it with just 60. This could prove to be bad news for Gloucester's branch. The store has already survived a number of rounds of cuts, but can it survive another one?

Debenhams has permanently closed 20 stores and cut around 6,500 jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses thought to be interested in taking over the chain include Mike Ashley's Frasers Group, Next and a Chinese consortium. But Frasers Group has said it would would only be interested in individual Debenhams stores that it could convert to its Sports Direct or Flannels designer fashion chains.

Debenhams said all of its current 124 UK stores are trading strongly.

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