The last stores of the British retail chain Debenhams will close on Saturday.

After 243 years, the once iconic department store disappears from the streets.

The company will continue online under a new owner.

The corona crisis has not done Debenhams any good.

Due to the lockdown, all shops had to remain closed for a long time, but in the meantime the sky-high rental costs continued to rise.

That eventually led to the company filing for bankruptcy in December.

A month later, the online store Boohoo came to the rescue of the company by acquiring it for 55 million British pounds (64 million euros).

There were also the conditions that all stores would close and the brand would only continue online.

In the past month, almost all stores closed.

The 28 branches that were still open will also close their doors on Saturday.

Twelve thousand employees are losing their jobs.

Boohoo aims to become the UK's largest online retailer through the acquisition and use Debenhams to grow in the care, sports and home goods sectors, the company said on the acquisition.

Founded in 1778 as a curtain shop, Debenhams later grew into one of the UK's largest and best-known department store chains. According to the latest figures, up to 31 August 2020, the retail group made 400 million pounds through its website and its webshop attracted 300 million visitors a year. This made it one of the ten largest online stores in the UK.