DEBENHAMS, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins all look set to disappear from Hampshire’s high streets following a devastating day for Britain’s retail industry.

A total of 25,000 shop jobs are set to be axed after the collapse of the Arcadia group of stores and the end of a rescue bid for Debenhams.

Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia went into administration on Monday night, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

Arcadia’s stores include Burton and Dorothy Perkins in Eastleigh, Topman and Topshop in Fareham and Wallis in Romsey.

The news led JD Sports to pull out of talks about buying Debenhams out of administration, putting another 12,000 jobs at risk. All 124 Debenhams stores are now being wound down, with remaining stock to be sold while administrators remain open to any further offers.

Debenhams has stores in Winchester, Fareham and Portsmouth. Its Southampton store was axed during the first lockdown of 2020.

'It will be a sad day for Southampton': Debenhams goes into admin

Jeff Bray, senior lecturer in marketing and retail management at Bournemouth University, said: “I’m ever the optimist for the high street and I do think there’s a real customer demand for the high street – but as the high street gets hollowed out, that demand diminishes because the high street becomes less and less attractive to shop in.

“I do fear this news is quite bleak.”

Debenhams in Southampton will not reopen after lockdown

Geoff Rowley, partner with FRP Advisory and joint administrator to Debenhams, said: “All reasonable steps were taken to complete a transaction that would secure the future of Debenhams. However, the economic landscape is extremely challenging and, coupled with the uncertainty facing the UK retail industry, a viable deal could not be reached.

“The decision to move forward with a closure programme has been carefully assessed and, while we remain hopeful that alternative proposals for the business may yet be received, we deeply regret that circumstances force us to commence this course of action.”

Paddy Lillis, general secretary of the shop workers’ union Usdaw, sai: “It is devastating news for our high streets that Debenhams’ administrators have announced a closure programme.

“Over the summer redundancies were made by conference call, with no meaningful consultation or proper notice period, as required by law. That must not happen again and we urge the administrators to engage with Usdaw, the trade union for Debenhams staff.”