Debenhams is on the brink of collapse after JD Sports pulled out of takeover talks.
Following the collapse of Arcadia, JD Sports left rescue talks of the department store chain.
Thousands of jobs are at risk after Debenhams collapsed into administration for the second time in April.
In a statement to the City, JD Sports said: “JD Sports Fashion, the leading retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands, confirms that discussions with the administrators of Debenhams regarding a potential acquisition of the UK business have now been terminated.”
If a buyer is not found, the department store could go into liquidation.
Debenhams employs 12,000 staff at 128 UK stores – many of which remain closed amid the pandemic. The retailer has already cut about 6,500 jobs since May.
Former Debenhams chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said that the group was “caught in a straitjacket” as too many stores are let on long leases.
Arcadia collapsed this week and became the biggest casualty of the pandemic.
Arcadia chairman Ian Grabiner, said: “This is an incredibly sad day for all of our colleagues as well as our suppliers and our many other stakeholders.”
“Throughout this immensely challenging time our priority has been to protect jobs and preserve the financial stability of the group in the hope that we could ride out the pandemic and come out fighting on the other side.
“Ultimately, however, in the face of the most difficult trading conditions we have ever experienced, the obstacles we encountered were far too severe.”