It has taken all afternoon, but the anagram BE ASHAMED is as close as we are going to get to messing around with the letters in Debenhams. However, there was no shame in the queues stretching around the block at many of the group's stores; people seeking closing-down bargains, like kettles of vultures looking to pick at the carcass of a victim that has spent the past year crawling across a shopping desert as they watched and waited. Where were these shoppers when the store needed them the most?
Can it be true that after a year of staggering from crisis to crisis the doors of Debenhams stores will finally close in the new year? The management of the store chain is working with Liquidators at Hilco on a fire sale of all its stock before the shops close early in 2021, the website has been throwing people off after waiting a maximum holding time of an hour, but are the management team crying crocodile tears, hiding the guilt of utterly botching the business of the department store monolith with prime city centre sites and an enviable history in retail?
It could be that the final blow was administered by the fall into Administration of Arcadia on Monday (30 November), with the uncertainty over the concessions that lured so many people through the doors of Debenhams and the hawks of Boohoo biding their time to make a bid for the most attractive brands.The faint promise of J D Sports offer has been blown away by a winter wind and the remaining big players such as Next, M&S and John Lewis are said to be backing their cherry-pickers close to some of the prime stores, seeking a bargain.
As the cock crows for the third time at Debenhams could it be that only the late bid of a cock could save the department store from what must be its inevitable fate. Mike Ashley? Mike Ashley?