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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber responds to Arcadia and Debenhams’ collapse into administration

Debenhams, in Nottingham's Old Market Square

Responding to the confirmed collapse of Arcadia into administration and reports that Debenhams will soon follow – putting a combined 25,000 jobs at risk – East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “The potential collapse of two retail powerhouses is a devastating blow to an industry that has been badly hit by the pandemic and our thoughts are with the 25,000 people who are affected at a time when unemployment is already becoming one of our country’s biggest economic challenges.

“The struggles of the high street are nothing new but we’ve seen long-term trends exacerbated by Covid-19, resulting in a huge number of store closures and job losses throughout 2020.

“Any closures of stores within Arcadia and Debenhams will leave further scars on city and town centres that have been crushed over the past nine months by lockdowns. While we know they will look radically different in the future, empty shops must not be allowed to become synonymous with our cities and towns if they are to truly recover.

“It’s important the Government works with industry to come up with a workable solution that will enable these centres of commerce to thrive once more.”