Debenhams puts administrators on standby


Debenhams, which employs 22,000 people, could be placed into administration next week, according to reports.

Shareholders have drawn up a plan to call in administrators to protect the retailer from the effect of the coronavirus crisis. KPMG is understood to be among the firms set to be appointed to look after the day-to-day running of the firm.

Sky sources report that a definitive decision hasn’t yet been made and other outcomes are possible.

Debenhams has furloughed the vast majority of its workforce and the firm being placed into administration would protect it from creditors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News said the store’s online operation would continue to trade during any period in administration.

A Debenhams spokesperson said: “Like all retailers, Debenhams is making contingency plans reflecting the extraordinary current circumstances.

“Our owners and lenders remain highly supportive and whatever actions we may take will be with a view to protecting the business during the current situation.

“While our stores remain closed in line with government guidance, and the majority of our store-facing colleagues have been furloughed, our website continues to trade and we are accepting customer orders, gift cards and returns.”