Shops & Markets

Staff at Altrincham branch of Debenhams face anxious wait to discover future

By David Prior at

Staff at the Altrincham branch of Debenhams face a nervous wait to discover their future after the retailer was placed into administration today.

The company rejected a last-ditch rescue offer from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and has now entered a pre-pack administration process.

That means it will continue to trade while an advisory firm, FTI Consulting, attempts to sell the company and its assets as a going concern.

Debenham’s lenders – mainly High Street banks and US hedge funds – now take control of the business and shareholders will lose their investments.

Altrincham’s branch of Debenhams on George Street

About 50 of the retailer’s 166 stores have already been earmarked for closure, and details of the identity of those stores are expected to be announced within weeks.

Last October, research by property experts Colliers International predicted that the Altrincham branch on George Street was one of the stores most at risk of closure.

Any closure of the store is unlikely to take effect until next year, however.

In the meantime, Debenhams says that all orders will be honoured and customers can carry on using gift cards and returning items as usual.

It’s also said there will be no changes to the Debenhams rewards club and personal finance products, including its credit card, insurance and travel money services.