Debenhams’ closing down sale continues, after the department store slashed its prices by up to 70 percent following its collapse.
There is still some hope for the department store as Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group is currently in talks to buy parts of it out of administration, but the “fire sale” is still on for now.
An unprecedented number of people have visited Debenhams’ online site over the last week to grab some final bargains from the 242-year-old company, with the retailer setting up an online queuing system to control the numbers.
Here’s everything we know about the sale as it continues.
Why is the sale happening?
Debenhams’ pre-Christmas clearance is happening to clear stock, after a deal with JD Sports collapsed on 1 December.
The sportswear giant was reported to be no longer interested in bidding for Debenhams after Arcadia, the biggest concession operator in the department store, also went into administration.
Arcadia, which has 444 UK stores, owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Burton among other retailers, and is worth £75 million a year in sales to Debenhams.
The company, owned by billionaire Sir Phillip Green, blamed the pandemic for its collapse.
Debenhams has been in administration since April, and cut 6,500 jobs in May as it tried to save its finances.
It is now set to enter liquidation, unless Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group yet comes to the rescue of the struggling department store.
If a deal cannot be reached, all of Debenhams’ UK stores may close, with 12,000 staff members expected to lose their jobs.
The coronavirus pandemic was said to be the final nail in the coffin for Debenhams, and it had previously been struggling due to the rise in online shopping and the emergence of fast-fashion brands like ASOS and Boohoo.
The department store announced its biggest ever pre-tax loss of £491 million in 2018.
Hilco, the restructuring film, will start clearing Debenhams stock in stores from 2 December.
The collapse of both Debenhams and Arcadia has put 25,000 employees at risk of losing their jobs.
Is the Debenhams sale still on?
Debehams’ stores are still selling discounted products across the country.
The retail giant launched its stock clearance “fire sale” on 2 December at 7am, which was set to be the biggest shopping day of the year due to non-essential retailers opening back up in England after the lockdown.
Shoppers in Scotland can still grab a bargain in Debenhams stores in all local protection levels now the Level 4 restrictions, where non-essential shops were closed, have been eased.
And all customers looking to purchase products in the closing down online clearance will be able to head to Debenhams’ website, where there is up to 70 percent off all of the product categories.
The virtual queuing system was put in place after thousands of shoppers flocked online, with reports that the site initially crashed.
Debenhams had already been running a two-week long sale for Black Friday, with discounts over all its departments such as clothes, homeware, electricals and beauty.
When does the sale end?
Shoppers will be able to buy items online and in-store in the Debenhams sale until all stock is sold out.
Customers holding valid Debenhams gift cards have been urged to spend them as soon as they can, as the chain is likely to be liquidated by the end of the year.
What are the opening times for Debenhams stores?
Most Debenhams stores in Scotland and the rest of the UK open between 9am and 10am, and close between 5:30pm and 6pm.
Some stores in Scotland are reopening on Friday 11 December, including the main store on Glasgow’s Argyle Street.
What happens with returns and refunds?
Customers are also being told to return any unwanted goods bought at the department store.
But shoppers who have purchased products from the website in the last few days should still receive their items and should be able to return them under Debenhams’ normal rules while it is still operating.
However, if items are undelivered and Debenhams shuts down, shoppers may need to contact their bank or credit card company to receive a refund.
What do Debenhams sell?
Debenhams is home to hundreds of brands over its different departments, which include a women, men and kids’ section, clothing, home and furniture, beauty, perfume, gifts and toys.
Prices are expected to be slashed across most of Debenhams’ stock, with a wide variety of brand discounts.
Its most renowned beauty brands include Chanel, Dior, Bobbi Brown, Elizabeth Arden and Clarins.
For clothing, Phase Eight, Jasper Conran, Jenny Packham and Ted Baker are particularly popular, as well as Topshop and Dorothy Perkins.