Store wars

Debenhams ‘blocks’ Next’s Glasgow beauty hall plan


Debenhams is working to save most of its stores

Struggling department store chain Debenhams has blocked attempts by rival Next to turn two of its stores – one in Glasgow’s Silverburn centre – into beauty halls.

The stores were among five recently earmarked for closure after Debenhams failed to agree revised rent terms with owner Hammersom.

Next immediately announced it wanted to turn all five into fashion centres.

Debenhams chairman, Mark Gifford, is understood to have “personally intervened” after hearing of talks between Next and Hammerson.

Mr Gifford is understood to have told key workers that he has successfully blocked the move for the Silverburn and Birmingham Bullring stores.

Hammerson still plans to agree “flexible lease” contracts with Next on other stores, according to retail sources.

The Debenhams board is in talks with its lenders and administrators at FRP Advisory about bringing at least 120 of its 142 stores out of administration once lockdown is over.

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