Debenhams cuts 320 jobs in manager shake-up

Department store chain Debenhams is planning to axe around 320 roles in a store management shake-up.

The retailer said it was part of a £10m cost-cutting plan announced last month – when it issued a profits warning after a weak performance over the Christmas period.

It aims to redeploy staff affected by the cuts and the changes will not mean any store closures.

Debenhams said last year that ten stores were under review for closure if they became unprofitable. Two stores closed at the end of January under that review.

A spokesperson said: “We are reviewing our retail structure.

“The review looks to identify how we can reduce cost and complexity in store processes so that we can focus our resources on serving customers better.”

The move follows a round of managerial roles going in the supermarket sector, with thousands of posts facing the axe at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Meanwhile, M&S has been rolling out plans to close unprofitable stores, with its latest announcement last month putting 468 jobs at risk.

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Debenhams said in its Christmas trading update last month that it had been forced to slash prices to boost flagging sales – describing business as “highly competitive and volatile”.

UK retailers have seen tough trading over recent months as consumers are squeezed by higher prices – partly because of the Brexit-induced weakness of the pound – at the same time as weak wage growth.