UK retailer Debenhams is cutting 2,500 jobs

UK retailer Debenham has just confirmed that it will be cutting 2,500 jobs.

The jobs cull marks the latest blow for the department store chain after it fell into administration for the second time in 12 months earlier this year.

It’s the latest retailer to announce job cuts following the spread of Covid-19 with WH Smith, Boots and John Lewis all confirming mass redundancies.

Debenhams currently employs 14,500 staff, which means it’ll have 12,000 workers after the redundancies.

A spokesperson for Debenhams confirmed that no new store closures are currently planned, not including the ones that have previously been announced.

The department store chain has reopened 124 branches following the coronavirus crisis.

But it says it has been forced to make “difficult decisions” following harsh trading conditions.

Debenhams has been struggling for several years, with the department store chain having already made a raft of store closures.

It cut 19 stores in January 2020, and at the time said it had 28 more closures planned.

Earlier in April, the chain fell into administration after rejecting a £200million rescue plan from Sports Direct tycoon, Mike Ashley.

It would have seen Debenhams’ lenders agree to write off £82million of its £720million debts, which the retailer said was “not sufficient”.

This is an insolvency process that allows a business to sell its assets before appointing administrators.

A spokesperson for Debenhams 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.”

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