Debenhams is the next well-known retailer to file for administration during the coronavirus lockdown.
The troubled department store has described it as a ‘light-touch’ administration, saying it will continue to operate with management in place.
In a statement, it said: ‘This move will protect Debenhams from the threat of legal action that could have the effect of pushing the business into liquidation.’
This comes just one year after its parent group first filed for administration.
Debenhams high street stores closed
Debenhams intends to reopen as many stores as possible once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
It’s been announced that seven stores will not reopen.
Online trading is continuing as normal, although some of its policies on returns, gift cards and deliveries have changed in response to COVID-19.
If you’re a Debenhams customer, here’s what you need to know.
- Read the latest coronavirus news and advice from Which?.
Online orders and deliveries ‘running as usual’
Debenhams says online orders are still being accepted.
Standard home deliveries could take up to seven working days, but it says its next-day delivery service is ‘running as usual’.
If your next-day delivery arrives late, it has committed to refund the delivery charge.
Its courier service, Hermes, is running a contactless service, so make sure to choose a safe place on the MyHermes app after placing your order.
Gift cards and returns still honoured
Gift cards and returns are still being honoured.
Late returns for both in-store and online purchases will be accepted 14 days after stores reopen.
You can also return any unwanted or faulty items back by post.
Any vouchers or gift cards that were due to expire while stores are closed will be accepted 14 days after stores reopen.
What are my consumer rights if a retailer goes bust?
It’s possible that a number of retailers could go bust during the coronavirus outbreak, although Debenhams is hoping to trade as normal once lockdown restrictions have lifted.
If a retailer you’ve bought something from does go bust, here’s what you can do to get money back for any unwanted or faulty items:
- If you paid by credit card and spent more than £100, you can make a claim with your credit provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
- You can make a chargeback claim with your bank if you paid by debit card.
- You may also be able to use a manufacturer’s or third party’s warranty if it’s still valid.
- You can make a claim in writing to the administrator explaining what you’re owed and what for.
Find out more about your rights when a retailer goes bust.