DEBENHAMS has said it is "making contingency plans" in a bid to secure the future of the retailer, following reports it is preparing to fall into administration.

The group, which has an anchor store at the Broadway centre, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 downturn in shopping.

A Debenhams spokesman said: "Like all retailers, Debenhams is making contingency plans reflecting the extraordinary current circumstances.

"Our owners and lenders remain highly supportive and whatever actions we may take will be with a view to protecting the business during the current situation.

"While our stores remain closed in line with Government guidance, and the majority of our store-facing colleagues have been furloughed, our website continues to trade and we are accepting customer orders, gift cards and returns."

Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at, said: "This one has been on the cards for a while. Debenhams was already on very shaky ground prior to the coronavirus outbreak, 2020 was going to be its make or make year. However, covid-19 has brought all the retailers’ problems to head a little earlier than expected. After 242 years on the high street there is a good chance that many, if not all of the department stores' doors won’t be opening after the UK wide lock down ends.

"What we are seeing here is simple - if the firm was in a weak position going into the coronavirus lock down, there is a good chance that it won’t come out the other side. In recent years fast fashion and online businesses have thrived, whilst our more traditional brands have struggled to transform.

"So far, we aren’t quite at the administration stage, but it is definitely an option on the table to, protect Debenhams from legal claims from creditors that it owes money to during the coronavirus outbreak. Next week will be judgement week for Debenhams.

"Debenhams made £72 revenue each second in 2019 however only made less than 1% of that as profit showing how online businesses such as Boohoo and ASOS were made for this current pandemic and will continue to thrive."