Staff wave emotional farewell as shutters come down for good at Meadowhall Debenhams

It was an emotional Saturday at Meadowhall as shutters came down on Debenhams for one last time.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:10 am

Staff at the store received applause and cheers from the shoppers as they waved goodbye before closing the store for good.

The 242-year-old department store chain exited the retail industry after the company collapsed amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Staff wave farewell at Meadowhall Debenhams - Credit: Gillian Marriott

In February, the administrators said all 118 stores would close and 12,000 staff would be made redundant.

Debenhams had been in and out of administration before FRP Advisory announced on December 1 that rescue talks had failed and it planned to wind the company down and sell off all the stock.

The permanent closure date was originally planned to be in the first quarter of this year but was pushed back when the third lockdown was imposed in January and shops had to close.

However, the enforced closure of sites during the pandemic was the final straw, resulting in the company falling into administration within weeks of the virus fully hitting the UK.

Shutters came down on Debenhams at Meadowhall for good. Video by Gillian Marriott

The company then started its liquidation process at the start of this year after failing to secure a rescue sale.

Debenhams, which employed more than 20,000 people before the pandemic, sold its brand and website to online giant Boohoo for £55 million in January but confirmed its bricks and mortar business would close for good.

Twenty-one of its sites across the UK were closed for the final time on Thursday.