Why Ipswich will be one of the last Debenhams stores standing
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Debenhams stores across the region are set to reopen on Monday for a closing-down sale to clear stock that has been on the shelves since before Christmas.
But once this is sold they will close for good - and Debenhams and its brands will become a part of the online store Boohoo.
The exact timetable for store closures will be determined by the speed with which shoppers try to pick up "closing down sale" bargains - but it is known that the Ipswich store is likely to be one of the last to shut for good.
As other stores wind down their stock the Ipswich store - which has always been one of the most successful in the company's portfolio - will get what is left from them to keep shelves as well stocked as possible.
Businesses in Bury St Edmunds believe their store may only remain open for three to six weeks as stock is run down - and any remaining merchandise will then be transferred to Ipswich.
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In Ipswich some business leaders hope the store may stay open until the middle of the summer as it is re-stocked from other closed stores across the region, but that really remains in the hands of the shoppers.
Plans have been drawn up to manage the queues that are expected to build up during its closing down sale - social distancing rules say only a limited number of shoppers will be allowed in at a time.
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Ipswich Central is likely to use its marshals to help ensure the queues go up Lloyds Avenue and follow social distancing rules.
As well as stock from Bury, Ipswich could also receive merchandise from stores in Norwich, Colchester and Chelmsford - administrators will be anxious to try to avoid any store looking so bare that it puts off the last-minute bargain hunters.
The next few weeks will be the final flourish for one of the best-known and most popular high street names - by the autumn Debenhams shops will all be boarded up and looking for new uses.