I CAN’T say I was surprised by the news that Debenhams stores were to close.

I am amazed they survived for so long. With layouts like modern versions of Grace Brothers, for years they have been unappealing, expensive and lacking in atmosphere.

Having said that, I feel for all the staff involved and hope they can find new jobs in this difficult climate. It’s not great news for the high street either. This year has seen a huge shift to online shopping. I prefer bricks and mortar shops, but wonder how long any of them will be around.