Potential suitors in talks for empty Debenhams store

It opened as Pauldens of Sheffield, but was rebranded to Debenhams in 1973. It lasted over 50 years before closing in May 2021. Image: DJP/2022

According to new UK retail data, nearly 90 per cent of former Debenhams stores remain empty almost a year after the department store closed its doors for the last time, in a sign of the challenge to reinvent high streets across the country.

The figures include former Debenhams stores at Meadowhall and on The Moor.

Only last week, MHA London, which bought the city centre building for £1.5m in March 2021, said there was interest but “nothing substantial.”

Since then, property agent Colliers said it was talking to prospective occupiers, thought to be a discount department store company and a leisure operator, both interested in taking space.

Might the discount operator be B&M Retail?

It currently occupies space on Haymarket, also operating Heron Foods at nearby King Street, both in a part of the city centre suffering from declining footfall.

A move to the vibrant Moor shopping area might be considered a good move and could include a B&M and a Heron Foods offering as well.

According to reports, the former Debenhams building might become a discount store or a leisure facility. Image: DJP/2022

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