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What happens to Debenhams now? 
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:27 pm
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Debenhams' much anticipated slide into administration has finally come to pass.

The chain is now in the hands of its lenders.

Not for long though - those lenders, Barclays and Bank of Ireland, as well as hedge funds Silver Point and GoldenTree, will now try to sell the business as soon as possible.

So what do we know about these lenders and who might be lining up to buy Debenhams?

There’s a massive problem in the High Streets. When chains are collapsing because of high rents and rates, you know that someone somewhere is seeing them as cash cows. Carluccios here closed under a year ago - the rent and rates for the building they were in were really high. Other restaurants in that area (a “restaurant quarter” was created a couple of years ago) and they seem to have had “sweet heart” deals to pull in tanants. Apparently, it’s a struggle to keep open there. Two others closed last year.

So, if we look at the rather excitable Essex LIve article on Chelmsford’ city centre empty shops, you’ll see the problem facing smaller and independent businesses. ... ng-2686314

Not all of those, BTW, are on the High Street. Some are close by. The Army and Navy one is a bit of a hike - you’ll need to walk there, and want to walk there. The other shops are Evans bikes, a wedding shop and a caterers supplies.

Those rents are eye watering for their locations, and you have to add rates on top of that. It’s little wonder some of these units have been empty for some time. The one at 68 New London Road has been empty for a good couple of years now.

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Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:06 am
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From the first listing, I'd only heard of Timberland and North Face, none of the other names are ones I've seen before (cinema and, I assume, an Italian restraunt are ones I could guess, but none of the other "brands" are well known here).

Town centers seem to still be doing reasonably well over here. In the small town where I live, there are maybe 3 empty units in the main drag, which is over a mile long. In Osnabrück, the next major town, the retail situation is also fairly good. Certainly in the main areas the shops seem to be thriving.

We do seem to be getting some of the American brands coming in, Starbucks and TK-Maxx moved in a couple of years ago, although the local coffee roasters seem to do better business than Starbucks, and Jack and Jones, but most of the rest are either local stores or German/Euro brands.

I think the lack of credit cards and the reticece to buy online have helped here. People still prefer to go shopping and pay cash, or at "worst" with a debit card. Credit is still a dirty word for most older (>30) people.

For most things, we prefer to buy locally, even if it is a bit more expensive. If something goes wrong, the shop is here and you have it out face-to-face.

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Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:39 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:46 pm
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We have a mini "high street" of sorts. I think at last count, it had 8 charity shops in a half-mile stretch. There are some boarded up stores. The local town centre is a bit better and undergoing renovation and new building.

Online shopping with its quick postage and ease of return have made life simpler for SWMBO to buy clothes, rather than traipse into Birmingham town centre with its extortionate parking charges.

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Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:15 am
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