Retailer announces plans to axe 2,500 jobs to ensure chain’s future


Department store group Debenhams is cutting 2,500 jobs, it announced today.

The business said a management restructure would account for part of the latest jobs’ cull at the group which, last month, entered administration for the second time this year.

Jobs will also go at its warehouses.

A statement from the group said: “We have successfully reopened 124 stores, post-lockdown, and these are currently trading ahead of management expectations.

“At the same time, the trading environment is clearly a long way from returning to normal and we have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations.

“Those colleagues affected by redundancy have been informed and we are very grateful to them for their service and commitment to Debenhams.

“Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.”

Debenhams said among the jobs to go would be the likes of sales managers, visual merchandise managers and selling support managers.

It said it was taking action to cut jobs to ensure the business has “every chance of a viable future.”

In May it said it would not be reopening five of its stores, with 1,000 members of staff affected, while last month it announced its Irish business, with 11 stores, would permanently cease trading.

Last month it was reported that Debenhams could be sold to a third party to bring its current administration to a close.

The chain’s administrators were reportedly considering a sale and appointed investment bank Lazard to handle the process.

In April 2019, the chain underwent a pre-pack administration which was followed by the closure of several stores.

However, in April this year management filed a Notice of Intent to appoint an administrator.

The firm said it had the support of its lenders and they planned to provide the funding for the administration.

Debenhams had already furloughed the vast majority of its workforce and the firm being placed into administration was aimed at protecting it from creditors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Debenhams traded from 142 stores. It has since closed a total of 18 sites.