Blackpool Houndshill Shopping Centre talks with retailer over Debenhams store takeover at ‘advanced stage’

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Negotiations are at an “advanced stage” with a retailer interested in taking over the former Debenhams department store in Blackpool town centre’s Houndshill Shopping Centre.

 

Last month, The Gazette revealed how council bosses were in talks with a major brand to takeover the department store, which closed its doors on May 8.

Officials are remaining tight-lipped on what firm it may be, but one council source said it’s a “big name”.

Following the closure of Debenhams a council spokesman said: “We have obviously been aware of the impending closure of the Debenhams store within the Houndshill for some time.

The Debenhams store closed in MayThe Debenhams store closed in May

“During that period, we have been working closely with our agents to identify suitable alternative anchor tenants for the unit.

“We are currently in negotiations with a retailer to take the whole unit and we hope to be able to make an announcement in the near future.”

Following a request from The Gazette, an authority spokesman said on Thursday that talks with the retailer are “at an advanced stage” but no further update or fixed timescale for an announcement were provided.

Debenhams opened in 2008 and was the flagship store for the Houndshill.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Marks and Spencer (M&S) confirmed that it was planning 30 further store closures as part of a shake-up of 110 of its shops, with the majority of sites set for relocation.

M&S said the impact of the pandemic has provided it with an opportunity to purchase new locations, with the group currently targeting six new stores in former Debenhams units.

It didn’t reveal if one of the stores it is targeting is the former Debenhams unit.