2,500 jobs to go as Debenhams swings axe

Debenhams is to axe 2,500 jobs across its stores and warehouses as the retailer looks to slash costs after sales were impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 2:00 pm
Debenhams has major stores at Preston, Blackpool and Wigan

The department store business is scrapping the roles of sales manager, visual merchandise manager and selling support manager as part of a management restructuring process.

The move, which was first reported by RetailWeek, comes four months after Debenhams collapsed into administration.

Debenhams said it has no plans to shut more stores as part of the restructure.

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Debenhams has major stores at Preston, Blackpool and Wigan.

A Debenhams spokesman said: “We have successfully reopened 124 stores, post-lockdown, and these are currently trading ahead of management expectations.

“At the same time, the trading environment is clearly a long way from returning to normal and we have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations.

“Those colleagues affected by redundancy have been informed and we are very grateful to them for their service and commitment to Debenhams.

“Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.”

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw is calling for urgent talks with Debenhams’ administrators.

The union is deeply concerned that the necessary consultation processes are not taking place and are preparing a legal challenge on behalf of members affected.

Dave Gill - Usdaw National Officer said: “This is more devastating news for staff who have been working under the threat of store closures and job losses for some time, having seen the company go into administration.

"We have been contacted by members who say they are being made redundant by conference call, with no meaningful consultation or proper notice period, as required by law."