Debenhams has announced today that it expects to close 22 of its stores in 2020. The closures will follow the stores continuing to trade during the 2019 Christmas period. It comes as the high-street giant announced its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) plan to restructure the store portfolio. Will you still be able to spend your gift cards at Debenhams?
Debenhams entered administration on April 9 this year.
The department store has previously said that it would honour gift cards.
This means that gift cards and vouchers are still valid, and it’s possible to spend them online and in-store.
Debenhams currently has 165 stores in the UK.
While 22 stores have been confirmed to close, the retailer added that further store closures would be confirmed in due course.
Terry Duddy, Executive Chairman of Debenhams, said: “The issues facing the UK high street are very well known.
“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment.
“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”
Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, previously suggested spending any gift cards and vouchers you may have sooner, rather than later.
He advised at the time: “Clearly, Debenhams is not in the most stable state at the moment.
“So personally I wouldn’t be buying anyone any gift vouchers from there in the future (although that doesn’t mean much as I would always suggesting avoiding gift cards and vouchers anywhere anyway).
“I’d also be very careful if I was ordering something now for delivery a decent amount of time in the future, and buying any items that might break down because returns can be difficult too if a firm goes bust.
“Having said that, if Debenhams is at the right price and right place for you, and you want to buy something there, there are ways to protect yourself.
“If goods are over £100, buy them on a credit card – although do repay in full – so that you get Section 75 protection, and otherwise pay on a debit card or credit card to get chargeback protection.
“I would certainly be wary of paying for any larger items with cash or cheque because that gives you no protection at all.”