Bedford’s Debenhams branch not among list of closures

Debenhams
Debenhams

News that the Bedford branch of Debenhams is not among those closing, has been welcomed.

The future of the High Street shop was uncertain due to the struggling chain’s financial difficulties.

And there were fears the Bedford’s High Street branch would be among those to go after it announced plans to close shops next year, affecting 1,200 staff.

But the company has now issued a list of 22 shops set to close - and Bedford is not among them.

Mayor, Dave Hodgson, said: “It’s obviously good news that our Debenhams is not among this national list of closures.

“Debenhams’ problems illustrate the crisis facing all UK town centres due to the rise of online and out-of-town shopping and other trends.

“That’s why we’re pursuing a vision which will help Bedford continue to buck the trend, and be an attractive destination not only for retail but also leisure, culture, food and drink and more.

“We’re already making real progress, for example with new riverside public space, restaurants, cinema and more at Riverside Bedford, and an empty shop rate which is falling and is lower than nearby towns.”

Debenhams has named 22 of the 50 stores it plans to close as part of a plan by new owners to revive the department store chain.

Stores earmarked for closure include:

Altrincham

Ashford

Birmingham Fort

Canterbury

Chatham

Eastbourne

Folkestone

Great Yarmouth

Guildford

Kirkcaldy

Orpington

Slough

Southport

Southsea

Staines

Stockton-on-Tees

Walton-on-Thames

Wandsworth

Welwyn Garden City

Wimbledon

Witney

Wolverhampton