Department Stores

Debenhams cuts over 1,000 jobs as five stores shutter permanently

Embattled department store chain Debenhams has revealed that five of its stores housed in Intu shopping centres will not reopen post-lockdown, effectively slashing over 1,000 jobs.

A Debenhams spokesperson said the retailer will continue to engage in “constructive talks” with its landlords and has agreed terms on the vast majority of its stores, which it “looks forward to reopening when government restrictions allow”.

Debenhams added that the closures have “no reflection on the commitment of its colleagues” in these stores and said it is “extremely grateful for their support”.

It comes after the department store chain, which entered administration in April, closed seven of its sites last month including its Westfield Shepherds Bush site and those in Truro, Stratford-upon-Avon, Salisbury, Warrington and Leamington Spa. This resulted in the loss of 422 jobs.

Stefaan Vansteenkiste, Debenhams CEO, said at the time: “I’m delighted with the progress we are making with our landlord discussions which reflects the pragmatic view the vast majority of them are taking of the current market conditions.

“We have agreed terms on the vast majority of our UK stores and talks are proceeding positively on the remainder, positioning us to reopen these stores when government regulations permit.”

He added: “Regrettably we have been unable to reach agreement on seven stores and these will not be reopening, and I’d like to express my thanks to our colleagues in these stores at what I know is a difficult time for everyone.”

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