The troubled retailer’s proposed Company Voluntary Arrangement has been approved by creditors, meaning it will move ahead with plans to close 22 stores next year, including Altrincham and Southport.
Debenhams Retail and Debenhams Properties announced the CVA plan on 26 April, saying that the first raft of closures would come in 2020, with others to follow.
The business said that the CVA received a majority significantly above the required threshold of 75% on each proposal – reports suggest more than 95% voted in favour of both parts of the deal.
Terry Duddy, executive chairman, said: “I am grateful to our suppliers, our pension stakeholders and our landlords who have overwhelmingly backed our store restructuring plans.
“We will continue to work to preserve as many stores and jobs as possible through this process. This is a further important step to give us the platform to deliver a turnaround.”
Debenhams is the UK’s largest department store operator, with 166 stores. It is believed that 39 of its stores will remain on the same rental terms for the remainder of their terms, while the group is seeking reductions in all other locations.
The Altrincham store is part of the wider Stamford Quarter development, while Southport’s store is on Lord Street.
In April, Debenhams had confirmed the closure of one its major warehouses, adding that its three other facilities “could be consolidated further”.
Lenders took control of the company in April in a move which saw investors’ shareholdings wiped out, while suitor Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct, was left out in the cold as a £200m rescue package was agreed.
In the North West, the retailer has shops in Manchester and Liverpool, along with Altrincham, Chester, Warrington, Stockport, Oldham, Bolton, Bury, Preston, Blackpool, Blackburn, Southport, Wigan, Carlisle and Workington. Debenhams also has an outlet at Cheshire Oaks and a North Wales estate encompassing Wrexham, Llandudno and Bangor.