Debenhams in Ipswich to reopen for a huge closing down sale
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Ipswich's Debenhams store will reopen in April for a final closing down sale - and is likely to be one of the last stores in the country to shut its doors later in the spring.
New stock is expected to be moved in from other branches because the Ipswich store has always been one of the most profitable in the company's portfolio.
Staff can be seen arranging stock in the store in preparation for the reopening which should be on April 12 as the store prepares to sell off the stock that had already been delivered at the time the chain collapsed.
The Debenhams name and website was bought from the administrators by online retailer Boohoo for £55m but that deal did not include any stores or the stock that the company held at the time.
That is being sold by company administrators FRP Advisory to try to obtain the best possible deal for creditors.
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Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement said he had been told that the Ipswich store would be one of the last to close because it had been one of Debenham's top performers in the whole country.
He said: "It will close in a few months time and that will be a huge loss to the town centre - but it will be one of the last Debenhams stores to go because it has always been one of the best-trading sites for them and remaining stock will be moved there from other stores as they close.
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"There are staff now preparing for the store to reopen - even though they know that they will no longer have their jobs in a few months' time."
The future of the store, the largest retailer in Ipswich town centre, is still uncertain - the freehold of the building is owned by company which has been negotiating to sell it.
A bid from Ipswich Council has been left on the table after a survey discovered major structural issues - and the loss of the store which would have remained its principle tenant made the deal unviable with the vendors being unwilling to drop the price substantially.