Debenhams to cut hundreds of head office jobs amid reopening plans

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Debenhams to cut hundreds of head office jobs amid reopening plans
Debenhams was already struggling before the lockdown, having fallen into administration on April 9 in a protective measure against creditors demanding their money. (Image: PA Wires)
// Debenhams unveils plans to reopen 90 stores from June 15, plus another 30 during summer
// However, the reopening will be done with leaner head office staff, with “hundreds” of job cuts expected
// Thousands of jobs have already been lost as Debenhams confirmed the permanent closure of 16 stores since administration

Debenhams is set to cut hundreds of head office jobs as it plans to reopen following lockdown, the department store has confirmed.

The retailer, which is in administration for the second time within a year, plans to open doors again to customers from June 15 with 90 stores initially, followed by another 30 over summer.

However, bosses plan to reopen with a slimmed down head office – which employs around 3000 people – as staff leave from mechandising, buying, design and HR departments, according to initial reports by Reuters.


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Debenhams was already struggling before the lockdown, having fallen into administration on April 9 in a protective measure against creditors demanding their money.

Since the coronavirus pandemic forced the temporary closure of all non-essential retailers, the department store has announced it would permanent shut down 17 of them, leading to thousands of job losses.

“In the context of a retail industry undergoing profound change, the management team is working on the future shape of the group, with a view to seeking an exit from administration as a going concern,” a Debenhams spokesman said.

“With a leaner and more flexible operating model, Debenhams will have the ability to adapt to what are likely to be fundamental shifts in the future trading environment.”

The retailer did not confirm exactly how many positions would go, beyond saying in the “hundreds”.

Bosses are expected to learn the lessons from Debenhams’ Danish stores, trading as Magasin du Nord, which has already reopened following easing of lockdown restrictions in the country.

Protective equipment for colleagues, guidelines to manage changing rooms, queuing systems, shorter hours and fewer services are all understood to be under consideration.

with PA Wires

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t believe they are trying to spin this news into HQ becoming “Lean”, they just fired 90% of peopel working there giving them 2 day notice.
    Debenhams won’t be in buissneses this time next year, current owners will now look into selling asap before stock gaps will become too apparent and customers will stop coming there together.

    • I worked in a store and got told on the Wednesday afternoon that we would be out of a job on the Thursday morning. We have been treated so badly. We had money left from our staff discount giftcards refunded back onto normal gift cards instead of actual cash it’s a joke.

  2. I see they’re treating their UK staff the same way they did their Bangladesh & Hong Kong staff – fired by email with a couple of days notice & no payments for redundancy/holiday entitlement etc . Not sure how this company still has any goodwill left. I’m sure it will try to limp on until Christmas but under these administrators this is one company that deserves to go to the wall.

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