Apr 6, 2020
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Debenhams confirms administration plan to protect it during lockdown

Apr 6, 2020

Debenhams has confirmed its plan for a second administration filing in a year with the company saying on Monday that it has filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

The move is designed to protect it from the threat of any legal action during the current coronavirus crisis. Any action could have forced it into liquidation during the period that its 142 UK Department stores remain closed as a result of the British lockdown. 

The move had been widely expected and isn't likely to be the only such action from a British retailer during this emergency. Cath Kidston has already flagged its intention to do the same and other retailers are believed to be looking at similar options.

The company reportedly said that this will be a "light touch" administration with its CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste saying it comes as the retailer finds itself in circumstances that are “unprecedented”.

He added that the company has taken this step “to protect our business, our employees and other important stakeholders”.

The light touch approach should allow it to resume trading once the lockdown is lifted and stores are allowed to open again.

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