Though Boohoo have purchased the brand, they have announced they will not be opening any of the 118 stores, meaning Debenhams in Nottingham will remain closed.
The site in Nottingham’s Old Market Square has a retail history dating back 180 years.
Online shopping powerhouse Boohoo purchased the retailer for £55 million, but the sale is merely for online services and the company’s intellectual property, including customer data.
The Debenhams Nottingham building is an iconic part of Nottingham’s high street, and will come as a blow to the retail industry in the city.
The purchase is also a further sign of how the pandemic is continuing to reshape the fashion industry in the UK.
Boohoo have said the group intends to “rebuild and relaunch the Debenhams platform, helping further the group’s stated ambition to lead the fashion eCommerce market, and grow into new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”
However, the purchase means that 12,000 jobs in total are at risk as all sites close down.
The moves comes after Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group fell into administration last month and subsequent deals to save its brand fell through.
The company’s founder and executive chairman, Mahmud Kamani, added: “Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware.”
East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said the closures would leave “significant scars” in both the city centre and Mansfield.
“Any Boohoo-Debenhams deal would further underline the direction of travel for traditional retail from bricks and mortar to online.
“Department stores have been a centrepiece of many high streets for a long time, and Debenhams occupies prime positions in both Nottingham’s Old Market Square and the Four Seasons Shopping Centre in Mansfield.
Altum Capital, who own the Long Row site in Old Market Square are yet to comment on plans for the buildings future.