90 Jobs At Debenhams At Risk Amidst Cost-cutting Drive

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By Mtaylor848 from Wikimedia Commons

Up to 90 jobs at Debenhams is at risk of being slashed as the struggling department store chain attempts to pursue a cost-cutting drive across its home and fashion departments.

The struggling retailer has started redundancy discussions with approximately 200 of its workers in the most recent stage of its cost-cutting drive.

It comes after plans to slash 320 store management jobs in a similar move to supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Morrisons.

A statement that was released by Debenhams disclosed: “We announced our intention to restructure our organisation around three business units: Beauty & Beauty Services, Fashion & Home and Food & Events earlier this year.”

It added: “Our work to create a simplified and consistent structure across these units, reducing complexity and driving efficiency in order to deliver our Debenhams Redesigned strategy, is continuing.”

Sergio Bucher, the chief executive of the company, is trying to shore up the finances of the retailer by securing £10 million worth of cost savings during this financial year and an additional £20 million annually going forward.

The firm was hit with a credit rating downgrade that was made by Moody’s at the start of the month after issuing a series of profit warnings in 2018.

Debenhams is reporting pre-tax profits amounting to £35 million to £40 million. The figure is down from the £59 million that as reported in 2017. The decline is partly because of the like-for-like sales, which strip out the effect of new stores, dropping by 2.1 percent in the 41 weeks to the 16th of June.

It has also tried to reassure the City that it is in good financial health after Euler Hermes, a credit insurer reportedly reduced its cover amid increasing concerns over its ability to pay its bills on time and in full.

There is mounting speculation that Mike Ashley, the Sports Direct boss, is considering an increase to his 29 percent stake in Debenhams so he can mount a takeover, leading the way for a merger with House of Fraser.