London  —  Beleaguered British retailer Debenhams, which is being wound down, will not open its Oxford Street store and five others after the current coronavirus lockdown, and is continuing to engage with a number of potential buyers for all or parts of the business, administrator FRP Advisory said on Wednesday.

It said that while this process continued, it is planning for the ongoing wind-down of the business as announced on December 1.

The administrator said renewed national Covid-19 lockdowns meant six stores, including Debenhams's flagship High Street store in central London, where it has been unable to agree lease extensions, will be permanently closed.

The closures would result in 320 job losses, FRP Advisory said.

Debenhams has also halted online sales to customers in Ireland, adding to signs of trade disruption as the UK left the EU, Bloomberg reports.

The retailer temporarily switched off its Irish website as it is “unable to deliver orders to the Republic of Ireland, due to uncertainty around post-Brexit trade rules”, the company said in a statement.

Problems in the supply chain have resulted in a significant fall in freight numbers this week at our Holyhead and Fishguard ports,” ferry operators Stena said in a statement.

The moves are the latest indications of issues in trade across the Irish Sea since the UK left the EU. Marks & Spencer  said on Wednesday it is experiencing some shortages of products in its stores in Ireland as it grapples with new customs systems after Brexit.

Reuters, Bloomberg

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