London (CNN Business) Debenhams, Britain's biggest department store chain, is permanently closing its UK operations.
Debenhams, which collapsed into administration in April for the second time in 12 months, said in a statement on Tuesday that it has been unable to find a buyer and will begin to wind down operations.
Its 124 UK outlets and online store — employing 12,000 people — will trade to clear stock, after which they will close if no other offers for the business have been received.
The future of its 45 franchised stores, which are primarily in the Middle East, south east Asia and eastern Europe, also depends on whether a buyer can be found for the UK business.
Earlier on Tuesday, sports retailer JD Sports Fashion confirmed that it had ended discussions about buying Debenhams.
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