The department store Debenhams has filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators.
It comes after Debenhams was forced to close their stores across the UK as a result of the lockdown in place due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, Debenhams boss Stefaan Vansteenkiste said the circumstances of the decision were ‘unprecedented’ and that the move would allow Debenhams “to resume trading from our stores when government restrictions are lifted”.
It is unknown how many of its 142 shops may reopen after the lockdown.
Mr Vansteenkiste said “We have taken this step to protect our business, our employees, and other important stakeholders”, adding, “We are striving to protect jobs and reopen as many Debenhams stores for trading as we can, as soon as this is possible.”
The retailer has over 20,000 staff – jobs which are now uncertain. This is the second time Debenhams has filed for administration this year, with the retailer suffering from financial difficulties for some time. The retailer has closed 22 stores this year and plans to close 28 more in 2021.
Debenhams is one of multiple businesses to be struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic. Carluccio’s, Brighthouse, Laura Ashley and Flybe have all collapsed into administration amid the Coronavirus pandemic, while many other firms are struggling financially.