Debenhams has announced plans to close 22 stores in 2020, but the Stevenage branch will be unaffected.

The nearby Welwyn Garden City branch is set to close, it was announced on Friday.

The Stevenage branch, which opened less than two years ago, reported the strongest sales increase of all its stores across the UK earlier in the year.

All Debenhams stores are expected to remain open throughout 2019, including Christmas.

Debenhams – which recently went into administration – previously stated that it plans to close up to 50 stores in the UK.

Terry Duddy, executive chairman of Debenhams, said: “The issues facing the UK high street are very well known.

“Debenhams has a clear strategy and a bright future, but in order for the business to prosper, we need to restructure the group’s store portfolio and its balance sheet.

“Our priority is to save as many stores and as many jobs as we can, while making the business fit for the future.”

Which Debenhams stores are set to close?

The full list of Debenhams stores expected to close are as follows: Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney and Wolverhampton.