Debenhams' creditors have endorsed a turnaround plan that will see the closure of 50 stores and rent reductions for others.
Landlords, local authorities and others voted to back the proposals made by the retailer's board.
Debenhams Group Holdings said the plan had been approved by "a
majority significantly above the required threshold of 75% on each
Terry Duddy, executive chairman of Debenhams, said: “I am grateful to our suppliers, our pension stakeholders
and our landlords who have overwhelmingly backed our store restructuring plans.
We will continue to work to preserve as many stores and jobs as possible
through this process. This is a further important step to give us the platform
to deliver a turnaround.”
Creditors, including landlords vote later on a rescue deal for Debenhams.
Under the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) more than 20 stores will close and landlords will see rents cut.
Adam Coffer is a retail and leisure landlord, but not involved in the Debenhams deal.
"There's been this proliferation of CVA's which have now almost become the go-to method for retailers, that are being advised by consultants that are generating huge fees, as a quick-fix opportunity to really just prolong the agony.
"It dumps all of the burden on the landlords without any consultation," he said.
"Around 90% of CVAs result in full administration anyway," Mr Coffer added.
'Huge relief' for Sunderland as Debenhams in the city escapes closure
A Sunderland councillor has expressed his relief as Debenhams store in the city was spared closure.
The retailer announced a list of shops closing down in 2020 in an attempt to save the chain.
Debenhams in Stockton in Teeside is one of the 22 stores set to go next year. Around 1,200 members of staff will be affected.
Hodson, Lib Dem councillor for Millfield, said the news of Sunderland not being on the list was a "huge relief".
He said: “Debenhams is the only large department store left in Sunderland and is at the heart of our city centre shopping offer.
“If Debenhams had closed it would have been devastating - leaving a huge retail unit empty in the heart of the city centre."
Mr Hodson also pleaded with the council to step in with an action plan.
He said: “For too long, shops have stood empty, the cleanliness and state of the town has got worse and worse - and parking charges have meant people are opting for Newcastle, the Metro Centre, Dalton Park and the Galleries instead.
“Sunderland desperately needs an action plan to improve shops, services and the night time economy in our city centre”.