Debenhams’ distribution centres remain open and busy as they continue handling online orders, days after its administrators said they should start winding up the business.

The stores are set to close after the failure of last-ditch efforts to rescue the ailing chain.

It had been in administration since April, but hopes of a rescue were dashed when the last remaining bidder, JD Sports, withdrew earlier this week.

The company took control of its distribution operations in the UK in August last year, bringing in-house the logistics that had previously been undertaken by DHL Supply Chain.

It meant that it took over the operation of the distribution centres in Peterborough and Sherburn and, according to a source close to the business, it remained “business as usual”.

O-licensing records show that it operates 50 HGVs out of Sherburn near Leeds and 130, along with 254 trailers, out of Peterborough.

It is thought there are around 800 staff at the Peterborough warehouse alone.

The source told that the distribution centres continued to provide a “vital” service for the store’s web-based business.

It is understood that the liquidators are still looking at selling all or parts of the business.

“If that’s possible and what that will look like shapes what happens to individual stores and distribution centres,” the source added.