THE Worcester branch of Debenhams is one of a number to be closed permanently following the coronavirus lockdown.

The chain has said it will permanently close six branches, including the flagship Oxford Street shop, with the loss of 320 jobs.

It said it had also told staff at stores in Worcester, Portsmouth, Staines, Harrogate and Weymouth last week they will not be re-opening.

The company started a liquidation process last month after failing to secure a last-minute rescue sale.

Debenhams’ administrator FRP Advisory said it is continuing to talk with potential suitors over the potential sale of all or parts of the business.

The insolvency firm said it still intends to reopen as many stores as possible to sell off stock, despite coronavirus restrictions keeping non-essential retailers shut.

The chain is continuing to sell its stock through online platforms.

It is the latest set of job cuts by Debenhams, which axed 2,500 staff in August and around 1,000 in May.

The retailer said support centre colleagues will continue to work from home, in line with Government guidance, for the time being.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and partner at FRP, said: “We continue to engage with interested parties over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams, but inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business.

“We regret the impact on those colleagues affected by today’s announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”