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Time for plans to be initiated following Boohoo's purchase of Debenhams


Following today’s announcement that online retailer Boohoo has bought Debenhams for a £55million deal which will see the closure of the department store chain’s remaining shops and a move to online only for the brand, David Fox co-head of retail agency at Colliers International commented: 

“While this is a sad day it’s not surprising and one which the market has been anticipating for weeks, it’s been a case of not if, but when,” he said. “Through this move Boohoo will hope to diversify their appeal to a broader demographic and shore up their share in the online fashion sphere. 

“Debenham’s landlords will now be looking to enact their plans for the future of the stores. We’re aware of a number of deals that have been agreed already subject to vacant possession once this day had come. This announcement will now help to crystallise the situation for those who do not have plans already in place.” 

Paul Souber, head of retail agency central London, added: “The London flagship store in Oxford Street is a significant land holding of more than 300,00 sq ft - this size of a small shopping centre outside of London. It’s not being seen as a nail in the coffin for Oxford Street, rather an opportunity to bring new commercial uses to the shopping district. We will see this site and others repurposed for a mixture of uses, whether that’s residential, student accommodation, office or hotel, to capitalise on emerging needs and trends.”

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David Fox

Co-Head of Retail Agency

Retail Agency - North

London - West End

 I am a former partner at BCL and have specialised in retail property in the Midlands ,North ,Scotland and Northern Ireland throughout my career.
Within my role as Co Head of UK Retail Agency  I have responsibility for our retail coverage in Birmingham,Leeds ,Manchester ,Glasgow and Edinburgh , and continue to build relationships with new and existing clients. 

Over my career I have advised a wide number of retail occupiers in their proprty strategies including DixonsCarphone, Boux Avenue , Hotel Chocolat , Costa and  Oliver Bonas.

I have advised a  range of investors , institutions and property companies in respect of their assets across the country , including shopping centres, high streets , transport hubs and retail parks. 

In an ever changing market  my experience has extended into asset management roles in respect of compromised shopping centres on behalf of recovery specialists and  lenders. The repurposing and regeneration of town centres and shopping centres  is an area of particular interest and  the focus of my team and colleagues.  as our industry rises to the challenge     set by change.



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Paul Souber

Co- Head UK & EMEA Retail

Retail Agency - Central London

London - West End

Paul Souber is a highly experienced London retail property expert, and has a particular specialism in the luxury sector.

He advises major London landlords – including The Crown Estate, Grosvenor, The Church Commissioners and Shaftesbury Plc – on how their retail holdings in the capital can be enhanced through leasing and placemaking.

His consultancy also involves advising various leading brands on their property strategy and sourcing the stores which best serve their strategic needs.

During a career in which he has advised on the leasing of more than 1.5m sq. ft. of shopping space, Paul has worked with clients including Yves St Laurent, Roksanda Ilincic, Gina Shoes, Balenciaga, Oliver Bonas, Boux Avenue, Sweaty Betty and Headmasters.

He is Head of London Retail Agency and Co Head of the EMEA Retail Team at Colliers International

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Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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