Northampton's Debenhams will 'continue as normal' after company falls into administration

Northampton's Debenhams store will 'trade as normal' for the near future after the department chain fell into administration this morning.

Earlier today, the high street chain fell under the control of its lenders after rejecting a £200million lifeline offer from Sports Direct.

Debenhams reportedly has over 720million of debt.

Debenhams reportedly has over 720million of debt.

It means all of its 165 stores will continue trading as normal for now - but this has not allayed fears that outlets will be shut and jobs will be lost in the near future.

And London Evening Standard has reported around 50 outlets could be shut under a company restructuring.

Meanwhile, gift cards, outstanding orders and returns will still be honoured, but this is never guaranteed to last when a company enters administration.

Terry Duddy, Debenhams’ Chairman, said: “...this transaction will allow Debenhams to continue trading as normal, access the funding we need, and proceed with executing our turnaround plans.

"We remain focused on protecting as many stores and jobs as possible, consistent with establishing a sustainable store portfolio in line with our previous guidance.

“In the meantime, our customers, colleagues, pension holders, suppliers and landlords can be reassured that Debenhams will now be able to move forward on a stable footing. I would like to thank them all for their recent and continuing support.”

It comes after speculation in October that the Northampton store in the Drapery would be on a list of stores set for closure, but any decision was put off while the company worked to manage its debts.

This morning, the company turned down a £200million offer by Sports Direct's Mike Ashley, on the condition he became CEO.

After administrators were called in, ownership of the chain was immediately bought under a newly-incorporated company controlled by Debenham's lenders earlier today.