EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Retail
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
47.71 - Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores
Number Employed: 27000

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 25-10-2018
Planned Job Reductions min: 4000
Planned Job Reductions max: 4000
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring

Additional Information

High street retailer Debenhams has announced major plans to restructure its operations which will result in the closure of up to 50 stores meaning that there will be 4,000 job losses. The chain which currently operates 165 UK stores and employs 27,000 people, made the announcement following the release of figures which showed a pre-tax loss. Although Debenhams continues to perform well in terms of its sales, this is not enough to offset the costs of the rents on their units.

A spokesperson for the company commented that the decision which had been taken was intended to secure the long-term future of the business and it was hoped that compulsory redundancies will be kept to a minimum. The timescale for the closures has yet to be announced, but it is expected to take three to five years for all the closures to take effect. A previous restructuring took place in March 2018, when 320 jobs were lost.