25 October 2018 | Comment | Article by Eleanor Bamber
Debenhams has confirmed that it is likely to close 50 stores – potentially losing 5,000 employees in the process.
Following a significant annual loss of £492m, Debenhams has announced that it is likely to have to close 50 of its stores over the next three to five years. This represents a third of the overall Debenhams’ estate in the UK.
Such drastic measures will see around 5,000 jobs lost out of Debenhams' current workforce of around 27,000. With such large scale redundancies envisaged due to the store closures, Debenhams' staff will be anxiously awaiting news of how the company intends to carry out its collective consultation process over the coming months.
Debenhams has clearly taken the view that it needs to try and avoid the same fate as other large retailers, namely House of Fraser. Taking action now to make sufficient cost savings to allow for continued investment in its remaining stores. Whether this will be enough to allow the brand to prosper in the future remains to be seen.