Debenhams' two outlets in Malta are to remain open even as the UK retail giant faces collapse.

Debenhams has been in administration since April, but failure of the latest last-ditch efforts to save the ailing chain means it is now planning to permanently close its 124 stores across the UK.

The closures mean 12,000 employees are set to lose their jobs.

The franchisee for Debenhams in Malta, United Group, confirmed that the local stores in Sliema and Paola will continue operating as normal for the time being.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, United Group director Simon Gatt Baldacchino said, “Debenhams in Malta is operated independently from the UK under a franchise agreement and has done so for the past decade.”

“At this stage,” Mr Gatt Baldacchino said, “United Department Stores Limited, the local operators, are assessing all options in hand and are monitoring the developments in the UK closely.”

He stressed that the company is focusing on giving Debenhams Malta’s customers an “excellent shopping experience this festive season”.

The company's collapse comes one day after Arcadia, which owns Topshop, fell into administration.

Debenhams, founded in 1778, is one of the historic department stores of the world through almost two and a half centuries of uninterrupted trading.

Plans to find a buyer floundered, with the last remaining bidder, JD Sports, confirming it had withdrawn its bid.

The closure is considered to be a result of the brand’s inability to attract new shoppers, its failure to move online, and bad management of its locations which led to an outsized rent burden.

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