Local trading operations will continue as normal in both Debenhams stores located at The Point and Mainstreet Paola, despite the news of the collapse of Debenhams UK on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Malta Business Weekly, Simon Gatt Baldacchino, Director of United Group, noted “Debenhams in Malta is operated independently from the UK under a Franchise agreement and has done so for the past decade. At this stage United Department Stores Limited the local operators are assessing all options in hand and are monitoring the developments in the UK closely”.
Debenhams is one of the leading British department store chains and it has a legacy dating back to 1785. It operates 130 stores in Britain and 45 franchised stores in 17 countries. In Malta, Debenhams has been a family favourite since March 2010 with the arrival of its first store, at The Point in Sliema. Together with Paola’s Main Street store, Debenhams now has a total area of 37,674 sq ft.
A statement released by United group added “Servicing our customers and providing them an excellent shopping experience is United Department Stores Limited top priority during the festive period. The Directors are monitoring the situation very closely and evaluating strategic options on the way forward.
On Tuesday shockwaves were sent through the world of retail as both Debenhams UK and Philip Green’s Arcadia Group collapsed taking an estimated 25,000 jobs. Locally Arcadia are represented by Dorkins Ltd which holds brands such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins. This newspaper also spoke to a representative of the Dorkins Ltd who were unable to comment at time of going to print.