Debenhams outlet avoids ‘hit list’
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.”