Deben­hams out­let avoids ‘hit list’

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS -

WITH high street giant Deben­hams go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion there has been un­cer­tainty over the long-term fu­ture of the chain.

Up to 50 of their shops could face clo­sure, but Llanelli’s Trostre branch re­mains un­scathed in the tur­moil.

With Deben­hams chiefs re­main­ing tight-lipped on ex­actly what the longterm pic­ture may be for the house­hold name, many are ask­ing, is there a fu­ture for Deben­hams?

As a brand it’s nav­i­gat­ing trou­bled wa­ters.

While Llanelli’s neigh­bour­ing branch is the flag­ship at St Catherine’s Walk shop­ping cen­tre in Car­marthen and is on an ‘at risk’ list of stores that may be moth­balled. The list has ap­peared across sev­eral news web­sites and is based on busi­ness rates at those stores.

Last week Deben­hams en­tered a pre-pack­aged ad­min­is­tra­tion deal and handed over to ad­min­is­tra­tors FTI Con­stu­lat­ing.

They will now reeval­u­ate the com­pany’s as­sets, debts and make cuts to save the ail­ing busi­ness from col­lapse.

Stores at present con­tinue to trade with gift cards still valid in branches and online.

Pres­i­dent of Llanelli Cham­ber of Trade David Darkin be­lieves Llanelli is strong enough to weather any storm if a demise of Deben­hams is on the hori­zon.

He said: “Trostre is a fan­tas­tic as­set to the peo­ple of Llanelli, em­ploy­ing many peo­ple and pro­vid­ing a re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence that draws shop­pers in from out­side of town.

“In re­cent years, the park has con­tin­ued to ex­pand with new units be­ing de­vel­oped.”

In a worst case sce­nario he cited one chain’s loss would be an­other’s gain and would keep the wheels of re­tail turn­ing at Trostre.

Mr Darkin added: “While it would be a shame if Deben­hams were to leave Llanelli, I see the unit be­ing a bril­liant op­por­tu­nity for a new busi­ness to move here.

“A good ex­am­ple is in re­cent years we lost BHS, but gained Pri­mark which has proved to be very pop­u­lar.

Coun­cil­lor John Jenk­ins said: “If Deben­hams was to end as a firm then that would be a prob­lem for any shop­ping cen­tre or high street.

“If it did close in Trostre then it would be a blow of course to Llanelli as a whole, but Trostre is quite re­siliant and would carry on.

“Peo­ple would still go to shop in Trostre and not by-pass it to go to Swansea.

When presseed for more de­tails on the lat­est on Deben­hams a spokesman said: “We have not com­mented on in­di­vid­ual stores. No de­ci­sions have been made.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.