Around 52 Debenhams stores shutdown operations permanently last week. For Northampton, it means the town has lost its last-remaining department store. All 101 of Debenhams stores will close by May 15. The chain has struggled with falling profits and rising debts, as people resorted to online shopping more.
Senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Northampton, Kardi Sommerfield was quoted by The Guardian as saying, “Debenhams feels to me like the last one of these giants... the world moved on and left them behind. It won't be a surprise to anybody, but it's sad. Every shop is an ecosystem, supporting jobs and businesses. The actual store itself was limping along, clearly no investment in the infrastructure.”
She said shops on the High Street had to improve their offer as “it has to be a great experience, or else how to differentiate from shopping online? If they were getting it right, they wouldn't be in trouble.” Debenhams' closure is touted as the inevitable “death of the High Street”.