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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 12:53 GMT
Allders sells stores to Debenhams
Allders' Oxford Street store
Other High Street names are expected to snap up Allders' stores
Department store Debenhams is to buy eight Allders stores from the collapsed retail chain's administrators.

The 143-year-old Allders business went under last month after falling victim to tough trading conditions and the failure of its owners to find a buyer.

The shops being sold are all located in the south of England. Other High Street names are thought to be interested in branches of the Croydon-based group.

Debenhams, owned by a group of private equity firms, currently has 107 stores.

A Debenhams spokesman said the purchases form part of its strategy to open in more than 200 locations.

It is to buy Allders' stores in Portsmouth, Slough, Basildon, Chatham, Clapham, Ilford, Sutton and Woking.

Jobs cut

On Friday, administrators Kroll said 471 employees at Allders had been made redundant "to remove overstaffing" at stores, and 209 jobs were going at the company's headquarters and from its logistics operations.

The group continues to employ about 5,000 employees with an additional 4,300 working at in-store concessions.

Kroll also said on Friday they were in an "advanced stage with bidders with regard to 34 stores and all 45 stores remain open".

Bhs owner Philip Green and Primark, the discount chain operated by Associated British Foods, are reported to be interested in buying a number of Allders' outlets.

Debenhams also confirmed on Monday it had agreed to sell 23 of its department stores to property group British Land for 495m.

The stores, including sites in London's Oxford Street, Manchester and Cardiff, will be leased back from March for an annual rent of 27.9m over a term of about 30 years.


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