OXFORD city centre has lost three department stores in recent years - with two closing within the last 18 months.

BHS in Queen Street closed in 2016, followed by historical store Boswells in Cornmarket Street early last year and Debenhams in Magdalen Street shut this year.

This leaves John Lewis in the Westgate Centre and TK Maxx in the Clarendon Centre as the city's only remaining department stores.

The UK has lost 83 per cent of its main department stores in the five years since the collapse of the BHS chain, the BBC has reported.

The data, compiled by commercial property information firm CoStar Group, also reveals that more than two-thirds of these shops remain unoccupied.

In Oxford however, Halifax moved into the former BHS store and plans are in place to turn the old Boswells store into a luxury hotel and the former Debenhams building into a hotel or office space.

ALSO READ: As Debenhams closes forever we look back at the good times at Oxford department stores

A deal has been agreed between the Boswells building's owner, Oxford City Council, and the Reef Group, the company which wants to use the former store as a luxury hotel. It plans to call it The Store.

A council official said earlier transforming the building would help to boost the local economy by providing room for short term stays in the city centre.

The Debenhams building's owner, Strathclyde Pension Fund, said the store may be converted into office space or a hotel.

ALSO READ: Debenhams Oxford could turn into a hotel or office space

A spokesperson said that the investors are currently undergoing the process of ‘pricing various alternatives’ and ‘expect to be in a position to make a further announcement about the preferred option later this year'.

Some 237 former department stores in the UK have yet to be taken over by a new business.

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