Closure date set for Debenhams warehouse in Peterborough

Work is underway to wind down department store chain Debenhams warehouse operations in Peterborough.

Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 11:47 am
Exterior of Debenham's warehouse at Kingston Park, Hampton. EMN-200112-124351009

It is expected that most of the 520 workforce at the warehouse in Kingston Park, in Flaxley Road, will have left the business by February 20.

It is understood that a small number of staff will remain for a while longer as administrators seek to sell the last remaining stock of the internationally famous retailer.

An action plan to find alternative jobs for the Debenhams staff has been out together by economic development company Opportunity Peterborough and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

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News of the departure date for staff comes after it was announced that online retailer Boohoo had bought the Debenhams brand and its websites for £55 million.

But the sale does not include the Debenhams stores and its 12,000 staff and it will effectively sweep the 243-year-old department store chain off the high street and with all the jobs to go.

Geoff Rowley, Joint Administrator and Partner of FRP Advisory, said: “We are pleased to have secured the future for this great brand, and to have created the opportunity for a new Debenhams-branded business to emerge in a different shape beyond the pandemic.

“I expect that the agreement with Boohoo may provide some job opportunities but we regret that this outcome does not safeguard the jobs of Debenhams’ employees beyond the winding down period.

He added: “We are very grateful that they have worked tirelessly through this very challenging period and will continue to support the closing down sale.”

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said; “We are working with Debenhams, other local employers and partners like DWP/ JobCentre, Serco, Peterborough Regional College and local agencies to identify job opportunities and support the people facing redundancy.

“There’s been a great response from local employers.

“Discussions so far have identified over 100 vacancies for immediate start and indicate another 350 jobs are expected to become available over the next six to eight weeks

“This work is ongoing and we will continue to work closely with partners.”