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Debenhams to open Northern Ireland stores

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CastleCourt is one of five Debenhams outlets in Northern Ireland

CastleCourt is one of five Debenhams outlets in Northern Ireland

CastleCourt is one of five Debenhams outlets in Northern Ireland

Debenhams is to reopen its Belfast, Newry and Craigavon stores on Monday as coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Its two other sites in Ballymena and Londonderry will be opening shortly after.

But the retailer, which recently entered administration, said it will only reopen a total of 120 stores UK-wide after a series of closures, having entered the lockdown with 142 stores.

It will then reopen 50 stores in England on June 15, with the remaining stores following later in the week.

Debenhams said preparations for the reopenings are "well under way", with strict social distancing and hygiene procedures being implemented across all stores.

Meanwhile, its stores in Scotland and Wales will reopen once Government restrictions are eased, it said.

Steven Cook, managing director at Debenhams, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming customers back to our stores in the coming weeks.

"From the installation of Perspex screens at till points to the roll-out of social distancing procedures and PPE, we have been working hard to ensure our colleagues and customers can work and shop with confidence.

"Our reopening plans follow the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores, meaning that the vast majority of our stores will be reopening."

Last month, Debenhams said it will cut hundreds of head office jobs as it looks to drive a turnaround in profitability.

Debenhams was already struggling before the lockdown and fell into administration on April 9 in a protective measure against creditors demanding their money.

Since the coronavirus pandemic shut all non-food retailers, the department store has announced the permanent closure of at least 12 stores, with thousands of job losses.

Stores reopening in Northern Ireland on June 8:

Belfast

Newry

Rushmere

- Stores reopening in England on June 15:

Barrow

Bath

Bedford

Blackburn

Blackpool

Bournemouth

Bristol

Bromley

Bury

Bury St Edmunds

Cambridge

Chelmsford

Chester

Chesterfield

Colchester

Hanley

Harrogate

Harrow

Hastings

Hemel Hempstead

Hereford

Ilford

Ipswich

Leeds

Lichfield

Lincoln

Liverpool

Luton

Mansfield

Meadowhall

Northampton

Norwich

Oxford

Portsmouth

Redditch

Scarborough

Scunthorpe

Sheffield

Staines

Stevenage

Stockport

Taunton

Torquay

Wakefield

Westwood Cross

Weymouth

Winchester

Worcester

Worthing

York Monks Cross

Belfast Telegraph