Closure of Debenhams stores in Suffolk and north Essex confirmed

Debenhams department store in Ipswich town centre will reopen on June 15 Picture: NEIL PERRY

The Ipswich town centre branch of Debenhams - Credit: Archant

Debenhams branches in Suffolk and north Essex are to close after the firm's buyout by online-only retailer Boohoo did not include its stores.

Boohoo has confirmed it has purchased the Debenhams brand and website for £55million, with the deal excluding the company's 118 stores and workforce.

It is expected the branches in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester will not reopen after the coronavirus lockdown.

Debenhams: Bit like Marmite, you love it or hate it! Picture: MARTYN TA

Bury St Edmunds' branch of Debenhams will close - Credit: Archant

Boohoo has said it will relaunch the Debenhams brand as an online-only venture next year.

It was announced late last year that Debenhams was in the process of winding down operations after JD Sports' takeover bid of Arcadia - which houses stalls in department stores - failed at the last minute.

Administrators for Debenhams said they would begin looking to sell off parts of the 242-year-old business.

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Boohoo said the deal represents a "fantastic opportunity" to target new customers and launch into the beauty, sports and homewares market for the first time.

A spokesman said: "The group intends to rebuild and relaunch the Debenhams platform, helping further the group's stated ambition to lead the fashion eCommerce market, and grow into new categories including beauty, sport and homeware."

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Boohoo chief executive John Lyttle said: "The acquisition of the Debenhams brand is an important development for the group, as we seek to capture incremental growth opportunities arising from the accelerating shift to online retail."

Founder and executive chairman, Mahmud Kamani, added: "Our acquisition of the Debenhams brand is strategically significant as it represents a huge step which accelerates our ambition to be a leader, not just in fashion eCommerce, but in new categories including beauty, sport and homeware."

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