In a major blow for high streets Topshop has announced it has fallen into administration as well as Debenhams being set to close.

Debenhams, with stores in Carlisle, Workington and Barrow, are set to close after the failure of last-ditch efforts to rescue the ailing store chain.

It means all 12,000 employees are likely to lose their jobs when the chain’s 124 shops cease trading.

The news came just hours after Topshop owner Arcadia fell into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

Debenhams itself had been in administration since April. Hopes of a rescue were crushed after the last remaining bidder, JD Sports, withdrew.

Staff were told the news on Tuesday morning.

Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins owner Arcadia has gone into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk.

The high street giant, with stores in Carlisle, Penrith, Dunmail Park at Workington and Whitehaven, has hired administrators from Deloitte after the pandemic “severely impacted” sales across the group.

No redundancies would be announced immediately, it said in a statement and Arcadia’s stores will continue to trade as Deloitte considers all options available to the group.

Leader of Carlisle City Council, Councillor John Mallinson, said:“Although it is disappointing to hear of any business going into administration, Carlisle has still got a strong city centre retail base with a number of other national chains and independent businesses. We are doing all we can to support the high street and are bidding for national funding through both the Town Deal and Future High Street funds. We’re confident that Carlisle will continue to be the regional retail capital in the future.”

Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, said the risk of closure was a blow for high streets up and down the country.

He said: “These sort of things have a devastating impact, not least on the people who are employed and working in these retail outlets.

“Obviously Covid is having a big impact all around on high streets that were already struggling because of the amount of internet shopping that gets done these done. At the moment it has gone into administration, but hopefully that doesn’t mean the end of the business