BASINGSTOKE Debenhams will close its doors for the final time next week, it has been confirmed.

The department store reopened in Festival Place on April 12 as lockdown restrictions were eased and non-essential retail welcomed back customers.

Unfortunately, Debenhams only opened in a bid attempt to shift stock before closing all of its branches permanently and the company has now confirmed the Basingstoke branch will close its doors for good on Saturday next week (May 15).

Shoppers looking to bag a bargain will have until 5.30pm next Saturday to browse the huge discounts in store.

The retailer currently has discounts for up to 80 per cent off fashion and home and up to 70 per cent off beauty items and fragrances.

Debenhams no longer accept any returns or exchanges for non-faulty items or change of minds as they begin to wind down.

When the closure was annouced last year, Council leader Ken Rhatigan told the Gazette: “It’s a devastating blow, if I’m honest, especially for the staff but for all the people who use it it’s a flagship store in Basingstoke.

“It’s a very very bitter blow economically, it will be heart-breaking to lose that site.”

Last year, the 242-year-old department store chain said its administrators “regretfully” decided to start winding down operations after JD Sports pulled out of a possible rescue deal.

The high street chain was bought by Boohoo in January this year in a £55million deal that only included the retailer's name and website.

Geoff Rowley, of FRP Advisory, joint administrator to Debenhams, said last year: “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.

“We are very grateful for the efforts of the management team and staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading.”