Debenhams Malta closes after UK franchise liquidation

Debenhams’ two branches in Malta are due to close their doors, a month after the British chain ceased operations.

Its operators United Finance and United Department Stores said it had to make the “difficult decision” as all international franchises were being withdrawn.

The department store has been on the island since 2010 when its flagship store opened at The Point shopping center in Tigné Point. A second branch was then opened in the Main Street shopping complex in Paola.

Last December, Maltese franchise operators insisted they would continue to operate despite the closure of UK stores, which closed their last stores on May 15.

“Although the Debenhams stores in Malta were operated independently from the UK under a franchise agreement, the operations are nonetheless intrinsically linked to the UK company for the granting of the franchise as well as the supply of goods” United Finance said Wednesday.

“Thus, the liquidation of the UK company resulted in the withdrawal of the franchise internationally. As a result, United Department Stores Limited had to make the difficult decision to liquidate the local outlets of the Debenhams franchise as well.”

He said he had sufficient resources to meet all of his financial obligations.

However, it leaves a huge void to fill for the owners of Tigné Point. When the complex opened in March 2010, the department store was its flagship tenant, occupying nearly 2,500 m² of space.

The date of final closure of the two stores has not been communicated.

Debenhams had been under administration since April last year and was in talks to be acquired by JD Sports, however, the sports fashion retailer withdrew from negotiations in December.

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