Debenhams stores across the UK are closing their doors for the last time in May 2021, ending more than 240 years of retail history as chains struggle during Covid
Image: Paul Rogers)
Photos show inside an abandoned Debenhams store that appears frozen in time after the chain collapsed.
The now derelict shop was one of the main features of the high street in Guildford, Surrey but has stood empty since it closed just over a year ago in May 2021.
The store has been a mainstay in town since it opened in the late 1960s, though it now looks more like an apocalypse movie or video game.
Instead of the bustle that usually accompanied the building in its heyday, it’s now an eerie shell of its former glory.
The store’s exterior still bears the Debenhams name, with photos showing the store frozen in time, with displays and shelving as if still welcoming excited shoppers.
Another of the images, all taken outdoors, shows the Costa coffee company’s branding, although chairs and tables on the premises have been removed. SurreyLive reports.
The site is now closed to the public as the store’s front entrance is covered with fences while the side gates are locked.
Debenhams has been an integral part of the town’s shopping spree and a local favorite when it comes to Christmas shopping.
The Guildford Business Improvement District said it was “devastated” to hear the news of the closure of the Anchor store, which opened in 1968 under the Plummers name before being renamed Debenhams in 1974.
All Debenhams stores in Surrey are now closed to the public after the chain went into liquidation at the end of 2020, including other chains in Woking, Staines and Walton.
Plans to create “sustainable” development on the site, now renamed St Mary’s Wharf, have since been announced after property developer Native Land bought the property for £20million.
Their plans include opening the River Wey to local residents, access to the river from the High Street for the first time in 50 years and a new plaza at the end of the High Street.
In the meantime, two new sustainable residential buildings will be created with retail and restaurants on the ground floor, 215 new apartments will be provided, shops, cafes and bars will also be created.
However, a decision on whether to approve the plans has not yet been made.
In May last year, Debenhams announced it was closing its doors for the last time in its 243-year history.
Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)
The historic department store has permanently closed its remaining 28 stores across the UK after the business collapsed amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
It closed 21 of its locations across the UK for the last few days, before also axing the remaining stores.
Debenhams, which employed more than 20,000 people before the pandemic, sold its brand and website to online fashion giant Boohoo for £55million in January 2021, but confirmed its brick-and-mortar store would be closing for good.
Last month, Boohoo announced that its profits were collapsing and costs were soaring as it struggled to get to grips with the difficulties caused by the pandemic.
Bosses said pre-tax profits for the 12 months to the end of February fell to £7.8m from £124.7m a year earlier as distribution costs rose and customer demand fell.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-abandoned-debenhams-store-frozen-27238247 Inside an abandoned Debenhams store frozen in time since the chain collapsed