News that fashion retailer Boohoo has bought the Debenhams brand and website but will not take on any of the firm’s high street stores or its workforce, will be a huge blow for staff according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

Debenhams has stores across Scotland, including in Dumfries. A closing-down sale at 124 Debenhams stores began in December, as the administrators continued to seek offers for all or parts of the business.

Colin Smyth said: “This is devastating news for staff at Debenhams Dumfries. This has been a dreadful year for retail and this will be the last thing they wanted to hear. My thoughts are very much with them and their families.

“Unfortunately, Debenhams staff have been living with this uncertainty for a long time, in April 2019 Debenhams entered administration for the first time and again in April 2020. Then in December, it was reported that last ditch attempts to save the firm had failed.

“Boohoo has hailed this as a ‘transformative deal’ but this will be of no consolation to the 12,000-odd workforce across the whole country who are set to lose their jobs in the middle of a pandemic.

“This is also another blow for our High Street and further proof that it will need as much support as possible in the difficult few months and years ahead.”

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