What’s Happening With Debenhams?

Can someone tell me what is happening to old #departmentstores like #Debenhams, that once dominated our #towncentres? Are they all going to be pulled down and repurposed? #Landlords must be understandably upset with their commercial agents who have been unable to relet them and appear to be at a loss as to what to do next. Surely these often-grand buildings in such prime locations can be put to better use rather than simply being left idle? Presumably mothballing them comes with its own problems. They still need to be maintained and if left vacant for too long, will fall into disrepair. Yet there is another issue here; can we afford to wait and allow natural market forces to help our high streets evolve and recover? Or will that simply be too slow a process for our high-paced economy to tolerate? Put another way, if it takes too long to reinvent itself, the #HighStreet will not only have no customers but also no staff to come and work in its shops. People need to eat and pay their rent / mortgages. No one wants to live, shop and work in a decaying environment with no prospect of improvement for the foreseeable future. 

Communities share a common passion for their home towns and are increasingly concerned at the impotence and apparent inaction by government and big #business. No one wants to see our high streets turn into ghettos of boarded up shops and “no go” areas. Indeed, such is the strength of opinion across the UK that local and national government could well find this to be their undoing. Covid and #Climatechange have dominated the media for so long, the plight of our high streets has been all but ignored. Our high streets are in dire need of proactive support from all quarters. The opportunities for small entrepreneurs could be very exciting. Repurposing large old department stores like Debenhams must be a priority. As for local politicians and MPs, they clearly need to step up to the challenge, take the initiative and work with local communities and businesses – assuming they want to keep their jobs.

Ben Damesh



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