Debenhams to close 50 stores putting 4,000 jobs at risk

Debenhams is to close up to 50 stores, putting around 4,000 jobs at risk.

The group said the closures will take place over a three to five year period and the announcement comes alongside a dire set of financial figures.

Debenhams swung to a £491.5 million loss in the year to September 1 after being stung by exceptional write-downs of £512.4 million, primarily relating to store and lease provisions, IT costs and impairment charges.

The loss compares to a profit of £59 million last year.

Boss Sergio Bucher said: “It has been a tough year for retail in 2018 and our performance reflects that. We are taking decisive steps to strengthen Debenhams in a market that remains volatile and challenging.

“We are taking tough decisions on stores where financial performance is likely to deteriorate over time.

“Debenhams remains a strong and trusted brand with 19 million customers shopping with us over the past year. With a strengthened balance sheet, we will focus investment behind our strategic priorities and ensure that Debenhams has a sustainable and profitable future.”

Bullring

Birmingham’s retail scene is changing with remarkable speed – and barely a day goes by without another announcement about a high street retailer under threat.

As quick as the giant Primark Pavilions is being built on High Street, other stores are disappearing or having to get their act together, fast.

The first signs that things were changing in a big way began in the summer of 2016 when the the city lost its giant BHS on New Street .

Other historic names like Woolworths and C&A had long gone, but this was the death of a dinosaur that had always kept plodding along.


Earlier this year, the vast nearby WHSmith downsized into a comparatively tiny former BHS unit on Union Street – a move which felt rather sad given that the stationer has so far survived since 1792.

The rest of the old BHS store off New Street was replaced in late March, 2018 by three floors of H&M , which already had a store in the Bullring nearby.

Other recent closures have seen tech store Maplin disappear from Temple Street as part of its nationwide shutdown.


Poundworld has also gone bust while Toys R US stopped trading online on February 28 and the last stores closed on April 24.

Even IKEA Order and Collection Point, which only opened in 2016 as part of a test programme, will close down in Dale End on August 9.

The giant House of Fraser department store on Corporation Street is set to close early next year – if not soon given the problems surrounding the whole parent company.

Even John Lewis announced in June that it was planning to close a number of Waitrose stores after issuing a profit warning for the first half of 2018.


They included the Little Waitrose close to the entrance to Snow Hill Station on Colmore Row.

Other stores now feeling the heat include M&S


Source link

More from Matthew Eileen

Boohoo launch rainbow range TODAY- full of festival season must-haves from £6

Boohoo have launched the perfect range for the summer. The collection- featuring...
Read More