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Rent talks fail

Debenhams’ Silverburn store one of five closing

Debenhams

Department store chain has secured new deals

Debenham’s department store in Glasgow’s Silverburn shopping centre is one of five that will not reopen when the lockdown ends.

Administrators for the retail chain have failed to reach an agreement on lowered rent with the commercial landlord, Hammerson, which owns all five stores.

The others are in the Bullring in Birmingham, The Oracle in Reading, Centrale in Croydon and Highcross in Leicester.

It means that 16 of Debenhams’ UK outlets will remain closed when the restrictions are lifted.

Deals have been struck with landlords to keep 120 of the remaining 142 stores open after it fell into administration for the second time. The future of a further six stores remains uncertain.

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It is understood that between 1,000 and 1,400 jobs will be affected by the closures, including concession staff.

Hammerson, one of Britain’s biggest shopping centre owners, said in April that its rent takings had fallen by two-thirds as struggling retailers tried to cut costs.

It reported it had received a flood of requests for rent deferrals or waivers as the majority of its tenants had been forced to close their stores during the lockdown.

In a further setback it said its £400m deal to sell seven retail parks to Orion had been scrapped, after the private equity firm said it would not complete the purchase.

Orion is behind the proposed redevelopment of the Royal Bank of Scotland offices in Dundas Street, Edinburgh.

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