Debenhams buyers pack the aisles as the collapsed chain begins the final clearance sale

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Buyers of DEBENHAMS rushed to stores this morning to get their hands on clearance items as the retailer prepared for clearance.

The chain’s 124 stores are set to close, but shoppers rushed to make the most of the 70% off sales as non-essential stores in England reopened this morning.

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Londoners rushed to Debenhams this morning to get their hands on the dealsCredit: London News Pictures
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Crowds flocked to the store after its latest clearance sales Credit: London News Pictures
Buyers wait outside Debenhams in Nottingham
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Buyers wait outside Debenhams in NottinghamCrédit: SWNS: South West News Service
Brits crammed into the London store this morning
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Brits crammed into the London store this morningCrédit: 2020 Stephen Lock / i-Images
Just a handful of shoppers entering Debenhams in Leeds as the doors first open after the lockdown
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Just a handful of shoppers entering Debenhams in Leeds as the doors first open after the lockdownCredit: IMAGENORTH
In Nottingham, shoppers lined up to preview the sales
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In Nottingham, shoppers lined up to preview the sales Crédit: SWNS: South West News Service
Long lines of shoppers were seen this morning outside Debenhams in Stockport
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Long lines of shoppers were seen this morning outside Debenhams in StockportCredit: Cavendish Press

Hundreds of shoppers have gathered this morning at Debenhams on Oxford Street, London, to make the most of the retailer’s liquidation.

Queues circled the block before staff opened the doors at 10 a.m. on the first day after the nationwide lockdown.

Hairstylist Anthony Murtagh, 36, traveled to central London and was hoping to pick up an aftershave for Christmas.

He told The Sun: “It’s nice going out after the lockdown – it was boring even though I kept busy.

“I hope there will be reductions so that I can get a deal.

“I want aftershave and makeup, but I’m keeping an eye on sales.

“I feel a bit like a vulture picking in Debenhams in light of the news.”

And similar scenes were seen across the country, as people showed up in stores for 70% off.

In Nottingham, enthusiastic shoppers lined the streets as they waited for the retailer to open.

DEMODED

A branch staff member told The Sun today: “In the next few weeks everything has to go. ”

“We don’t know when we are closing. They keep all silence and tell us nothing.

“But all the stock has to go and there are some great deals on select items with a lot more price cuts to come. ”

And in Stockport, people braved the miserable December weather to come in with a chance of bagging Debenhams’ selling stock.

Last night, over ONE MILLION shoppers joined the virtual queue to grab the bargains from Debenhams last night as the large retail chain went bankrupt.

The 242-year-old retailer is set to be liquidated following failed bailout negotiations to save the chain’s 124 stores, causing a sales windfall.

Hundreds of thousands of shoppers flocked to the store’s website last night to get their hands on closing deals.

But some did not have the chance to access the online store.

Youth worker Jada Ervin, 20, said she hopes to have her Christmas presents in store today.

Queues circled the block before staff opened the doors at 10 a.m. this morning15
Queues circled the block before staff opened the doors at 10 a.m. this morningCrédit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun
Debenhams set to close, putting 12,000 jobs at risk
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Debenhams set to close, putting 12,000 jobs at riskCredit: London News Pictures
Anthony Murtagh said he felt a bit like a 'vulture' shopping in Debenhams after the news
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Anthony Murtagh said he felt a bit like a ‘vulture’ shopping in Debenhams after the newsCrédit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun
Shoppers lined up outside on a wet day to get their hands on sale items
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Shoppers lined up outside in wet weather to get their hands on sale itemsCredit: Cavendish Press
Hundreds of passionate buyers flocked to Debenhams in London this morning
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Hundreds of passionate buyers flocked to Debenhams in London this morning Crédit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun

She told The Sun: “I couldn’t access the website last night, so I took the bus this morning.

“I always leave my Christmas shopping at the last minute, so hopefully it pays off and I get a good deal.”

All 124 stores in Debenhams will hold the in-store fire sale today, as England’s second national lockdown ends.

On Tuesday evening, there was a 20-minute wait to access the website “due to exceptional demand” as more than 300,000 people attempted to log in at the same time.

Debenhams is expected to be liquidated after JDSports withdrew from offers to save the ailing department store chain.

It has already cut 6,500 jobs since May.

The collapse comes after Debenhams sales plummeted in the six months leading up to October to £ 323million from billions at its peak.

Yesterday was one of the toughest days in British retail history as Debenhams and the Arcadia Group were forced to admit defeat.

Sir Philip Green’s retail empire includes brands such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Topshop.

The collapse of Arcadia – which operates 444 stores in the UK and 22 overseas – puts 13,000 jobs at risk.

KNOW A CASE

The group said 9,294 employees are currently on leave.

Rishi Sunak has pledged he “stands ready” to help the 25,000 workers of Debenham and Arcadia through “deeply troubling” times.

He added: “There are currently negotiations between different parties and companies – especially with regard to pensions – and it would not be fair for me to comment specifically on this. ”

At Lakeside this morning, there were three hundred shoppers lining up outside Debenhams, scrambling to get a good deal.

Some people were eager to return to Debenhams after visiting an annual pre-Christmas tradition there.

Chantelle Peters, 52, said: “I have been shopping here for decades. I’m gonna be gutted, so go ahead.

“You can’t avoid looking at the clothes rather than seeing a picture online. I am also happy to support small stores rather than Amazon.

“We come here for Christmas every year. Rather, it will be House of Frazer, if Lakeside is still open in 2021.

“You feel sorry for the stores and all the workers, really. Everything is online. It’s good to see him busy today.

Tanya Gurney, 53, told The Sun of the Nottingham branch today: “I am deeply saddened that the closure is closed. It’s an amazing store and has been part of the High Street for so long.

‘HOLLOW TO SEE IT GO’

“We don’t want it to go.

“I want someone to step in and save the store. We have already lost too many small stores to the coronavirus. ”

Stores across the country were overrun this morning as Brits jumped at the first taste of normal life.

Buyers lined up from 5 a.m. to enter Primark, marking the end of the second national lockdown.

And after being closed for four weeks, some gyms opened at MIDNIGHT as fitness fanatics crowded into the wee hours of the morning.

The excitement of the end of the lockdown was associated with even more good news this morning.

The UK is the first country in the world to give the green light to a Covid vaccine – with mass vaccination slated from next week.

The jab – which is 95% effective and developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German company BioNTech – is safe to use, according to health regulators.

The news means millions of Britons will be receiving it soon – in line with the government’s commitment to make the most vulnerable as soon as possible.

Jermaine George of Hackney bought two suits at the Debenhams sale on Oxford Street
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Jermaine George of Hackney bought two suits at the Debenhams sale on Oxford StreetCrédit: Doug Seeburg – The Sun
242-year-old retailer must be wound up
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242-year-old retailer must be wound upCredit: Cavendish Press
Shoppers entered Debenhams when it opened at 9 a.m. in Harrow, north London
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Shoppers entered Debenhams when it opened at 9 a.m. in Harrow, north LondonCredit: London News Pictures

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