THE Debenhams store in Festival Place will not be reopening on June 15, it has been announced.

The department store, which has been under significant financial pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic, has today set out its plan to reopen 50 stores across England on June 15, in line with government guidance.

However, the Basingstoke store is not on the list.

Among the nearby stores that will reopen a week on Monday are Winchester, Bournemouth and Portsmouth.

Debenhams say the remaining stores will "follow later in the week".

Steven Cook, Managing Director, said: "We are delighted to be welcoming customers back to our stores in the coming weeks.

"From the installation of perspex screens at till points to the roll-out of social distancing procedures and PPE, we have been working hard to ensure our colleagues and customers can work and shop with confidence.

"Our reopening plans follow the successful conclusion of lease negotiations on 120 stores, meaning that the vast majority of our stores will be reopening.”

However, business magazine Retail and Leisure International is today reporting that Debenhams is set to go into administration.

They say that the announcement could come as early as next week.

A Debenhams spokesman said: “Like all retailers, Debenhams is making contingency plans reflecting the extraordinary current circumstances.

"Our owners and lenders remain highly supportive, and whatever actions we may take will be with a view to protecting the business during the current situation.

"While our stores remain closed in line with government guidance, and the majority of our store-facing colleagues have been furloughed, our website continues to trade and we are accepting customer orders, gift cards and returns.”

It comes after Debenhams previously told the Gazette last week that the town's store is "expected to reopen alongside other English stores from June 15".

A spokesperson from Debenhams told the Gazette: "Importantly, Debenhams has successfully concluded negotiations with landlords on 120 stores (including Basingstoke) which is a key step to the company coming out of administration.

"There are no further closures to announce today beyond those already notified."

It comes after Festival Place announced earlier today how the shopping centre will look when it reopens fully on June 15.