AFTER news broke of the collapse of Debenhams, the major high street store, we asked readers whether you were sad to see the chain close.

The closure of Debenhams, which went into administration for the second time in April, will put thousands of jobs at risk.

The retailer’s website crashed this morning as shoppers attempted to grab bargains, on the same day non-essential stores reopened following the end of the second national lockdown.

All 124 UK stores, including in Oxford’s Magdalen Street, are set to close, and this is what you said:


KAREN FLIPPANCE: “Terrible, gutted. So sad for the retail workforce.

“Just don’t understand why the shops couldn’t stay open with monitoring on the door.

“People like to shop and interact with the lovely staff. Where’s it going to end?”

RYAN LYNCH: “George Street is going to be unrecognisable next time I am back.”

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AVERIL CAMERON: “Yes, it will leave a huge hole, with Boswells already gone.

“They’ve been struggling for ages, but the Westgate is not the answer for all of us. Hardly anything useful left in the centre.”

DAVID BRIMSON: “My first job was at Debenhams 77-78. Many memories and people I still remember.

“I worked in goods inwards. I retired as a renal technologist in the NHS.”

FOSSOYEUR61: “Boswells (established 1738) a much sorer loss. But sad, too, for the staff at Debenhams.”

HALA KHEIR: “Sad to see it gone. It was an icon in the high street.”

EMMA HORN: “Yes, this was my go to, could always find what I needed in there.”

JOANNE CARP: “Very sad news.”

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THEPLOUGHAT38: “If the UK business rates system was fair and landlords less greedy then these businesses could be saved, sadly both are the ruination of many a retailer...sad facts...system wins.”

MOGSTER: “Overpriced tat.”

SAJ KHAN: “Sad for the workers. Bad timing indeed.”

MARCIA FURSDON: “Not really, clothes not good.”

KOLKURTZ: “It didn’t collapse, it was undermined.”

ZOOM: “For the jobs yes. For the shop no.”

QUINTESSENTIAL: “‘Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group faces an anxious wait’. He’s that billionaire who owns a £100 million yacht.”

GOING DIGITAL: “Sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs but I am surprised that Debenhams has lasted as long as it has. The department store model is by far the most outdated form of retail now.”

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COWLEY MARSH RESIDENT: “Terrible to see 25k at risk of losing their jobs in 24 hours.

“I haven’t bought anything in an Arcadia shop for years as they only seemed to cater for younger, slimmer men (and those who like artificial fabrics).

“I’ve been in Debenhams more recently and there were more staff than customers – and minimal stock in e.g. kitchenware.

“They seemed to have lost sight of who they were trying to serve.”

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TINY FISH: “Very sorry about this: for the staff and also for its customers. Witney lost its Debenhams a year ago, and I am still missing it.

“The Oxford store had a wide range of goods, and was in a convenient position for public transport for those travelling in by bus from the north of the city.

“I will miss being able to shop there. I am sure I am not alone in that.

“Not everyone wants to shop online – even though that’s what I am having to do right now because of the pandemic.”

DER BIFFER: “It’s sad, not just for Debenhams staff, but for many in retail, as shopping as an activity is dying out.

“Reduced footfall due to home working, especially during the pandemic, being one of the biggest contributory factors.”