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Department Stores

CVA and closure rumours loom as Debenhams appoints KPMG

Debenhams has reportedly appointed audit advisors KPMG to explore restructuring plans, prompting rumours of stores closures and a CVA.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the advisory firm had been assigned to draw up a turnaround plan which could result in a number of job cuts. The department store chain recently axed 90 jobs and was considering the redundancy of 200 head office staff in a bid to cut costs. The retailer has also issued three profit warnings this year and in April, its profits plunged by 84%.

Mike Ashley, who owns 30% of Debenhams, is rumoured to be considering a takeover bid. He recently saved department store House of Fraser from administration in a last minute £90 deal.

The company has also identified up to 30 outlets which could be resized and is under negotiations with landlords. Debenhams is one of the UK’s oldest department stores, employs over 20,000 people and has 270 stores.

KPMG refused to comment and Debenhams have been approached by Retail Sector.

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