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Department Stores

Debenhams ‘could close a third of its stores’

It is rumoured Debenhams could be closing up to a third of its stores following a series of profit warnings and poor trading results.

The embattled department store has 166 outlets across the UK and is reportedly looking to save £100m. The Sunday Telegraph reported that the chain would save £30m by freezing shareholder payments and a further £70m is expected to be saved through the cutting of its capital expenditure.

It is thought the retailer will make an announcement this week as its full year results are released on Thursday (25 October).

It was speculated that Sports Direct would acquire Debenhams, increasing its existing 30% stake in a rescue deal that would be similar to the House of Fraser sale, but that option was ruled out by the company.

Debenhams posted a pre-tax profit fall of 84% in its April half-year results and axed 90 jobs as part of its restructuring plan. It later appointed advisors KPMG in September which led to rumours of store closures and the withdrawal of one of its biggest insurers Atradius.

Retail Sector has contacted Debenhams for comment.

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