Debenhams Malta shuts its doors as UK franchise goes into liquidation

As UK franchise owners go into liquidiation, United Department Stores shuts down Debenhams store in Malta

The franchise owners of Debenhams UK in Malta will close down its stores as the parent company of the British retail fashion store enters liquidation.

United Finance plc, whose sister company United Department Stores holds the franchise for the Debenhams brand for Malta, said the winding up of the UK company has resulted in the withdrawal of the franchise internationally.

Debenhams UK announced in 2020 it was ceasing its operations and going into liquidation, with the last stores in the UK closing on 15 May 2021.

Although the Debenhams stores in Malta have been operated independently from the UK under a franchise agreement, operations are nonetheless intrinsically tied to the UK Company for the granting of the franchise as well as the supply of merchandise.

United Finance p.l.c. said that notwithstanding the significant challenges it has faced during 2020 and 2021, it had sufficient financial resources to meet all of its obligations when they fall due.

In 2020, United Finance expected its revenues to drop by 42.5% to €7.43 million largely due to the significant disruptions to its fashion retail division (-43.5% to €4.98 million) and automative operations (-43.7% to €1.76 million) brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its financial analysis summary expected a loss for the year of €800,000 million compared to a net profit of €810,000 million in the 2019 financial year.

The company in 2014 €8.5 million 5.3% unsecured bonds, maturing in 2023.