Original article from Kent Live
Kent is set to wave a final goodbye to its remaining Debenhams stores next month after the retailer announced that all physical stores will cease trading by mid-May.
The retailer originally went into administration in April 2019, and again in April 2020.
A planned takeover by JD Sports since fell through in the autumn of 2020.
The 242-year-old chain of department stores had reopened 97 locations after lockdown for a final closing down sale, including up to 80 per cent off fashion and home products.
However, it has since announced that remaining stores will now begin to close from May 2, with the final outlets to be closed and cease trading by May 15.
Some 27 locations' closing dates have since been confirmed for the first week of May, as Debenhams transfers its business to online retail, following the company's purchase by Boohoo in January this year.
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It is estimated that 12,000 jobs have been put at risk by the company's collapse, but it is yet unclear how many of these jobs will be saved by the Boohoo takeover.
The purchase made by Boohoo only included Debenhams' name and website, not physical stores, meaning it will no longer be a feature of the nation's high streets and shopping centres.
Earlier this month, Debenhams at Westwood Cross saw huge queues as non-essential businesses reopened their doors to customers, though a flurry of post-lockdown customers means little for the retailer's fate.
At present, the closing date of Debenhams' Kent stores is only set in stone for the Gravesend branch, which will shut its doors on May 2.
The Hastings store just over the border with East Sussex is also due to close in early May, shutting up on the 4th day of next month.
However, the fate of the Westwood Cross and Bromley outlets are yet to be decided.
Regardless, all branches are expected to close by May 15, and it is likely a future announcement will establish dates for remaining locations in Kent and the South East.
A spokesperson for Debenhams said: “With such great bargains on offer, it’s no wonder our stock is selling out incredibly fast.
“Time is running out for shoppers to take advantage of the incredible discounts being offered at these 27 stores.”