A sign on the doors this morning read: "Due to unforeseen circumstances the store will not open until 10.30am. We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause."
The news came as a shock to shoppers, many of whom took to Twitter with their memories of the huge department store.
Luke on Twitter said ""I'm heartbroken and absolutely devastated. My generation knows it as Kendal's but it's always had a special place in Manchester."
Joanne Orr posted: "Huge loss to #manchester the iconic #kendals #houseoffraser closing down in January. Memories of shopping there since I was a little girl with my Mum. They even made my wedding cake in the days when they had an amazing food hall
After Mike Ashley took over the ailing brand in August in a deal reportedly worth Â£90m, many stores across the UK were earmarked for closure, but the fate of the flagship Deansgate building has come as a shock.