The much-loved department store Debenhams, which has been online-only since May after being bought by Boohoo, is now hiring staff for a permanent physical store selling beauty products
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Debenhams could be about to reopen a physical store after shutting its last ones in May this year.
The chain, which first opened in 1778, shut its last remaining 12 stores earlier this year as new owner Boohoo took it online-only .
The online fashion giant snapped up the 243-year-old department store chain for £55million back in January this year – but the deal didn’t include its physical stores.
But now Boohoo is hiring beauty assistants for a ‘Debenhams Beauty’ store in Manchester – suggesting the brand could soon return to the high street.
The store location is not listed.
The job advert said: “As a beauty assistant, you are an essential part of a team that delivers the extraordinary service our customers expect from Debenhams Beauty.
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“Maintaining the highest of retail standards, keeping up to date on product knowledge and replenishing stock, customer service is at the heart of what you do.”
“An expert for all things Debenhams Beauty and the go-to person to help our customers, you are fully knowledgeable of everything about the store including the latest trends and services we offer.”
However, the new physical store could be the only one of its kind.
Back in June The Mirror reported that some beauty brands had refused to supply products to Debenhams unless it had a physical store presence .
Boohoo Group chief executive John Lyttle said it would open one store outside of London to fix this.
Boohoo has been approached for comment.
Debenhams first emerged as a draper business at 44 Wigmore Street in London.
In 1905, it was rebranded to Debenhams Limited and the company started buying existing department stores across the country, including Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge in 1920.
In 1928, it was listed on the London stock exchange for the first time and by 1950, Debenhams became the largest department store group in the UK. At the time it owned 84 companies and 110 stores.
However, in recent years sales collapsed, in part due to the growth of online shopping.
In 2018, the company announced its largest ever pre-tax loss of £491million and the closure of up to 50 stores putting 4,000 jobs at risk.
The pandemic accelerated this decline, with the company entering administration three times last year due to Covid lockdowns.
Debenhams fell into the hands of its lenders, a group of banks and hedge funds led by US firm Silver Point Capital and in April 2020 it went on the market.
At the time, the business had lost £323million in the six months to October – versus billions in its heyday.
A takeover with JD Sports fell through on December 1 after the collapse of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia.
In January, it was acquired by fast-fashion brand Boohoo in a takeover that excluded all 118 high street stores.
As part of the takeover, 12,000 jobs were lost overnight as bosses revealed it would go online-only.