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Gloucestershire Business News

Debenhams website struggles to cope with rush

Debenhams website struggled to cope as shoppers flocked in search of a bargain as the ailing retailer began the job of clearing stock at the start of a liquidation process.

Administrators began the process of winding up the 242-year-old company yesterday after rescue talks with JD Sports collapsed, putting 12,000 jobs at risk.

Gloucester is among 124 branches facing closure unless a last-minute rescue deal can be agreed for all or part of the company.

Stores and the website are continuing to trade to clear existing and ordered stock with shops able to reopen their doors in England after the change in coronavirus restrictions.

But the website faced lengthy queues and crashed this morning with the message "We're experiencing large volumes of traffic, but don't worry we'll be back soon".

The Gloucester branch of Debenhams forms one side of King's Square where work on a long-awaited development has started in the last few weeks.

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "We are very concerned at the news that Debenhams may cease trading and our thoughts are with those employees who could be losing their jobs especially at this time of year.

"We will be working with Jobcentre Plus and other agencies to support those at risk at this difficult time."

"The council has been in contact with the owners of the building and their agents looking at possible alternatives if sadly this store is to close.

"If that were to happen we will be focused on ensuring that it doesn't stay empty but reflects our ambitious plans for the city with possible alternatives including it being used for residential and or leisure uses."

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