Last week we read that Debenhams was filing for administration after the coronavirus lockdown forced it to shut its shops across the UK.
According to Debenhams boss Stefaan Vansteenkiste, the move aims at protecting the business in the current uncertainty but wish to resume trading when government restrictions are lifted.
However he did not say how many of the existing 142 stores will open again. Although before the crisis, the Clapham Junction’s branch was apparently profitable and they wanted to keep it, it cast more shadows on the future of the iconic Arding and Hobbs building.
As reported last October, W Real Estate (a group of banks and hedge funds led by US firm Silver Point Capital), new owner of the building, wants them out so they can redevelop some or all of the building as a hotel.
A member of staff told us that if they are given notice to leave in June 2020, they have until September 2020 to vacant if the Lease isn’t extended.
Currently Debenhams has furloughed the majority of its staff who are being paid under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme which pays 80% of a worker’s salary up to £2,500 a month.