***EDIT (18/12/20) - Debenhams have sent out emails to customers stating that they will accept gift cards until midnight on Sunday 20th December 2020. You can use up to two different payment methods when ordering - for example part gift card, part debit card.
2020 has been a terrible year for us all, with the retail sector in particular taking a massive hit. Last week, we learnt of the awful news of the Arcadia group going into administration, thus meaning the likes of Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Topshop may not be on our high streets for much longer. Now, it's been announced that administrators have started the process of winding down Debenhams.
As Debenhams stores give a lot of floor space to Arcadia group concessions, we are deeply saddened to see the knock-on effect of this retailing downturn.
Things looked hopeful for a while for the UK department store, but after the collapse of rescue negotiations with JD Sports, who were the last remaining bidder, it's highly likely that all stores will close.
Debenhams opened their first store in 1778, so it's one of the longest standing retailers on the UK high street. Upon entering administration back in April for the second time in a year, the retailer had already made cuts to 6500 jobs. Now, it's a massive 12,000 jobs that hang in the balance.
No redundancies have been announced yet, which we hope is a glimmer of hope for those that work for the department store.
At present, you can still shop with the retailer - Debenhams have said that existing orders will be sent out as normal, and returns are currently being accepted.
Of course, due to the uncertainty of the future of the business, there's no guarantee of how long this will continue.