Debenhams to reopen for closing down sale
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Debenhams is reopening some stores nationwide from Monday, April 12 for a major sale to clear stock - and Norwich is one of them.
The store in Orford Place - currently for sale or rent - will reopen for three to five weeks for bargain-hunters.
After that it will close permanently. It comes after the famous retailer was bought out of administration by fashion brand Boohoo in a deal which did not include the retention of staff or stores.
Those working in the Norwich store - including manager Gareth Mays employed by Debenhams for almost 23 years - are looking for new jobs. He posted on LinkedIn he had been in charge of a £25.5million turnover at the store, where he ran a team of 11 managers and a total of 280 staff.
It had been hoped the Norwich store would reopen for a sale and Mr Mays confirmed this but declined to comment further.
Debenhams announced its reopening for the sale, with items slashed by up to 70pc, stating: "We're excited to be able to start welcoming you back into our stores and want to reassure you that the safety of our customers and staff remains our highest priority."
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However, many of its former services such as bra fitting, travel money, click and collect and dressing rooms will be unavailable. None of the restaurant facilities at the Norwich store will be open.
Shoppers will only have one week after reopening to return items and the store is no longer accepting loyalty or gift cards.
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It is not yet known what the Norwich Debenhams building will be bought for. The six-storey premises, which covers 111,723 square feet, is not listed so could be demolished for a new development.
When it went on the market, seven national retailers came forward expressing an interest in occupying the building's lower and ground floors. The Norwich store is owned by an Irish property magnate.
Under the recent change in permitted development rights, it makes it easier for a potential buyer to gain change of use from commercial to residential use, meaning the building could end up being converted into new homes.