Saturday 23 February 2019

Debenhams cuts prompt Irish fears

Debenhams is closing stores after posting the biggest loss in its history (Nick Ansell/PA)
Debenhams is closing stores after posting the biggest loss in its history (Nick Ansell/PA)
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Retailer Debenhams has unveiled plans to axe up to 50 of the struggling department store chain's shops, putting around 4,000 jobs at risk.

The closures are expected to take place over a three- to five-year period and the announcement comes alongside a dismal financial report, posting the biggest loss in its history.

The chain's Irish business exited examinership in 2016, having entered the insolvency protective process after arguing that high rents at its Irish outlets were making its business here unsustainable.

Debenhams has 11 outlets in Ireland, mostly acquired from Roches Stores in 2006.

A spokesperson said that the 50 stores that have been identified account for under 15pc of total sales.

In the year to September 1, the retailer suffered a £491.5m (€556m) loss, attributed to exceptional write-downs of £512.4m, primarily relating to store and lease provisions, IT costs and impairment charges. It made a £59m profit in 2017.

Irish Independent

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