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Altrincham’s Debenhams store is to close

The Altrincham branch of Debenhams is to close, it has been confirmed this morning.

The Altrincham branch of Debenhams is to close, it has been confirmed this morning.

The George Street department store is one of 22 stores it plans to close as part of a plan by its new owners to revive its fortunes.

Debenhams says the affected stores will close in 2020 and a total of 1,200 staff are affected.

“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment,” said Terry Duddy, Debenhams executive chairman.

Altrincham’s branch of Debenhams on George Street

“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”

The other 21 stores to close are Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney and Wolverhampton.

The news confirms the worst fears for staff at the Altrincham branch after the retailer was placed into administration earlier this month.

The company had rejected a last-ditch rescue offer from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct and entered a pre-pack administration process.

Trafford Council described the news as a “setback” and that it was working with the Stamford Quarter on finding a replacement tenant.

A spokesman said: “This is obviously a distressing time for Debenhams staff and their families but the financial problems facing the business have been well documented so the announcement of the closure has not come as a complete shock.

“Altrincham remains a thriving town centre and while the closure is a setback we are working with the owners of the Stamford Quarter where Debenhams is based to look at the future use for the premises.

“We are confident that Altrincham will continue to attract interest from other businesses and will remain a place where people want to invest.”