Debenhams is plotting a return to the high street under new owner Boohoo as it attempts to strike deals with major beauty brands. 

Boohoo closed all Debenhams stores after rescuing the retailer from administration in a £55m deal back in January, taking its proposition online. 

But the fashion etailer’s boss John Lyttle said some beauty brands had refused to supply their products to Debenhams unless it had a physical presence.

Although the likes of Benefit and Ralph Lauren continue to supply to Debenhams as an online-only operator, the website does not stock major names such as Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent – both of which were previously sold in its department stores. 

Lyttle told The Times that Boohoo was in talks about opening one small Debenhams shop outside of London, but he insisted it would be “one store and one store only”.

Lyttle’s comments came after Boohoo, which also owns brands including Oasis, Coast, Warehouse, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, posted a 32% spike in sales to £486m in the three months to May 31. 

Debenhams operated 118 stores across the UK before it collapsed into administration last year, but its final 28 shops closed last month following a stock clearance. 

The department store chain’s demise left holes in towns and cities around the country, with many locations still struggling to fill the voids left behind. 

Although the likes of Next and Marks & Spencer have snapped up some of the space vacated by Debenhams, other locations are being converted into leisure space, housing, offices, student accommodation and art galleries.