Debenhams in Milton Keynes to close down permanently

The flagship store in Milton Keynes's struggling intu shopping centre is to remain permanently closed after lockdown, it has been confirmed.

Wednesday, 10th June 2020, 10:31 am

Staff at the store, which is one of the largest in the shopping centre, were told this week they were redundant.

Debenhams blame the closure on the fact that they couldn't "agree terms" with the landlord intu.

The news is another nail in the coffin for struggling intu, which is facing insolvency itself due to billions of pounds of debts. See the full Citizen story here.

Debenhams at intu MK

Both Debenhams and intu were battling with financial difficulties before the coronavirus crisis struck, but lockdown has exacerbated their problems,

Debenhams has debts of £600m and went Into administration in April for the second time within a year.

The three storey store at intu MK is one of the anchor stores of the city's shopping centre. It is the latest casualty in a list of 20 Debenhams nationally that will not be reopening when coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased. from next week.

The retailer published details in January of a string of stores it planned to close. The intu store at Central Milton Keynes was not on that list– but there was still no guarantee it will not be closed at a later date.

Debenhams last year announced a Company Voluntary Arrangement involving the closure of around 50 shops over three years.

This week a Debenhams spokesperson confirmed the MK store closure, saying: “Sadly we have been unable to agree terms with the landlord."

He added: "We greatly regret the effect on our colleagues, who have served our customers with commitment and dedication...Our customers can continue to shop with us online at www.debenhams.com or at other local stores from next week.”

The number of job losses at the MK store has not yet been disclosed but it is understood up to 100 staff were employed there.

Another major intu store - Victoria's Secret - has also been plunged into adminisration - read the full story here.

There was some positive news for MK's retail sector last night, though, after MK1 Shopping and Leisure Park announced plans to re-open next week - read the full story here.