DEBENHAMS’ landmark Southampton store will not be reopening when the coronavirus lockdown ends.

The store, in Queensway in the city centre, had 106 staff.

The branch had escaped inclusion on a list of seven stores which were to close after the chain fell into administration earlier this month.

But it is among four more stores which will remain shut after the company was unable to negotiate a deal with landlords.

A Debenhams spokesperson said: “Sadly we have been unable to agree terms with the landlord in Southampton and as a result this store will not be re-opening when government restrictions are lifted.

“We greatly regret the effect on our colleagues, who have served our customers in Southampton with commitment and dedication. In the meantime our customers can continue to shop with us online as usual at”

The Southampton store can trace its history to 1860, when the haberdashery Edwin Jones set up on the site. It was extended to create Queen’s Buildings 20 years later.

The store became part of the Debenhams group in 1928. It was destroyed in the Blitz and replaced by the current building in 1959.

Debenhams, which employs 22,000 people, went into administration on April 9 for the second time in a year.

It said it would continue to trade online and that it would reopen as many of its 142 stores as possible.

It later said it had struck deals with landlords to keep 120 branches and was in “advanced” talks about the rest.

Swindon, Kidderminster and Borehamwood are the other stores being axed following Friday’s developments, following the previously announced closures in Truro, Straford-upon-Avon, Salisbury, Warrington, Westfield in west London, Leamington Spa and South Shields.

The latest blow to Southampton’s retail sector comes after the industry reported the sharpest fall in sales on record.

Clothes sales fell 34.8 per cent in March compared with the previous month, as most shops shut their doors because of the lockdown. Overall, retail sales fell 5.1 per cent.