JD Sports had been in talks to take over the retail chain but have now pulled out of talks this morning.
In what could be the latest high-street casualty from the pandemic, up to 128 stores across the country could now be at risk.
Talks between the two began in April but the sportswear chain is thought to have been spooked after the news concerning Sir Phillip Green’s Arcadia Group on Monday.
Without a buyer, the 242-year-old retail giant may be wound up.
Due to the impact of the virus, Debenhams had already been forced to cut 4,000 jobs in May.
In August the department store also cut a further 2,500 jobs Augusts, effectively reducing a third of its workforce.
In a statement, JD Sports said today: “JD Sports Fashion, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated.”
Former chief executive of Debenhams, Sir Ian Cheshire admitted his concern for the employees across the chain’s stores.
He added the future of the chain had been caught out by the increasing demand for online shopping.
Sir Philip’s Arcadia brands, such as Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge are within Debenhams’ shops.
With Arcadia now entering administration, talks took a severe hit.
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Arcadia announced it was heading into administration on Monday which now puts 13,000 jobs at risk.
currently, Arcadia has approximately 450 leased stores and a further 22 abroad.
No immediate redundancies were reported while the shops will reopen on December 2 in England.
Ian Grabiner, the chief executive of Arcadia, said: “This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the forced closure of our stores for prolonged periods, has severely impacted on trading across all of our brands.
“Throughout this immensely challenging time, our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.
“Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”