Chain buckling under coronavirus shutdown just a year after it was rescued

Debenhams is preparing to call in administrators after the struggling department store was forced to close all its outlets under the coronavirus lockdown.

The company, which has 22,000 staff and was rescued by its lenders after collapsing into administration only a year ago, is understood to be considering filing a formal notice of intention to appoint administrators next week. The legal process provides protection from creditors for 10 working days while a company tries to secure a rescue deal.

Potential administrators lined up this time include KPMG, which handled the Debenhams restructure last May.