“Heart of the High Street” will disappear as Debenhams set to close

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Debenhams sits on the corner of Guildhall Street and the High Street

The Debenhams store in Canterbury is poised to close next year as the company announces a restructuring programme.

Some 1,200 jobs nationwide are at risk in the shake-up which comes after the department store chain went into administration earlier this month.

Described as the “heart of the High Street”, its closure if approved will follow that of Nason’s – another Canterbury city centre stalwart – which shut its department store last year.

Its proposed closure – and the fact that the former Nason’s store remains empty – will yet again raise questions about the future of Canterbury city centre.

Terry Duddy, executive chairman of Debenhams, explained the thinking behind the company’s proposal to close a prime store: “The issues facing the UK high street are very well known.

“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet, which are not appropriate for today’s much changed retail environment.

“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”

Debenhams in Ashford, Chatham and Folkestone are also likely to shut if the company’s restructuring plans are approved by creditors.

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