IT was a sad day for the region as Debenhams in Newcastle closed its doors for the final time - with stock completely cleared and shelves laid bare.

The huge department store in the Eldon Square shopping centre permanently shuttered on Saturday as the chain's high street history was brought to an end.

Customers hurried around the store as they searched for last-minute bargains only to find much of the stock had already been cleared.

On the main floor leading from the shopping centre, beauty kiosks were stripped bare as many had been placed into storage into a now disused corner of the store.

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Only a handful of goods remained in the store, which had reopened on April 12 following the easing of lockdown restrictions, for one final sale.

Ascending to the upper floor, which mainly housed the women's section, the whole store was already cleared of many fixtures of fittings.

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Once bustling with customers, the third storey saw just one rack left with goods heavily discounted by the afternoon.

In the North-East, Debenhams at The Bridges shopping centre in Sunderland had already closed on the previous Saturday. 

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On the ground floor, which mainly housed menswear and gifts, whole swathes of shelves and shopping areas were again cordoned off. 

The former cafe area, which would not have been allowed to trade anyway under lockdown restrictions at the time, largely remained in situ with tables and chairs stored.

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The retailer, which had earlier this year collapsed into administration, saw its brand name and website acquired by online giant Boohoo in a £55m deal.

The deal however, did not include any of its stores signalling the loss of thousands of jobs across the UK.

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Earlier this month, the chain revealed it would be reopening its stores for one last clearance sale while paying tribute to the staff who had "kept it trading."

At the time, they said: "We will be reopening with a fantastic range of offers and discounts across all of our customers’ favourite brands and products.

"Stocks are limited and expected to sell out quickly so customers should visit their nearest store quickly to avoid disappointment.

"We are very grateful for the efforts of our staff who have worked so hard throughout the most difficult of circumstances to keep the business trading”.

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It is not yet known if another retailer is lined up for the huge space at the Eldon Square shopping centre, although it has already been reported that other venues across the UK have been repurposed.