Further jobs at risk as Debenhams owners plan liquidation

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Debenhams Hilco Capital liquidation
Since the coronavirus pandemic struck the UK, Debenhams has scrapped over 4000 jobs
// Debenhams owners draft in restructuring firm Hilco Capital to work on possible liquidation
// Hilco’s “contingency planning” will aim to secure the future of the 242-year-old chain
// The move could result in the single-biggest job cuts of the pandemic

The owners of Debenhams have reportedly drawn up plans for the department store chain’s liquidation, which could result in mass job cuts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Restructuring firm Hilco Capital has been drafted in to work on contingency plans for Debenhams’ possible liquidation, Sky News reported.

Hilco’s “contingency planning” will aim to secure the future of the 242-year-old chain before the pre-Christmas trading period.


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Since the coronavirus pandemic struck the UK, Debenhams which employs roughly 14,000 people, has already scrapped over 4000 jobs.

Earlier this week, the retailer axed a further 2500 jobs as part of its latest cost-cutting drive to survive the crisis.

Debenhams said it had no plans to shut more stores as part of the latest restructure.

The department store chain, which trades from just over 120 stores across the UK, said it was looking to make staff who hold sales manager, visual merchandise manager and selling support manager positions redundant.

Debenhams told Retail Gazette that affected staff, who are still on furlough, have been informed of the decision and will exit the business by the end of this week.

In April, Debenhams appointed advisory firm FRP Advisory as administrators. It said it collapsed into administration to protect Debenhams in the UK from the threat of legal action that could push the business into liquidation.

Hilco, which briefly acquired the Oasis and Warehouse group after it filed for administration earlier this year, also worked with Debenhams on the permanent closure of its 18 stores this year.

On Friday, Debenhams said its staff were seeking legal action against the company after hundreds were made redundant earlier this week.

More than 500 staff who were made redundant are planning to take legal action and law firm Simpson Millar has already begun investigations.

It is seeking to secure a Protective Award on behalf of staff regarding Debenhams’ alleged failure to properly inform colleagues of the mass job cuts.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. No Surprises but I hope Ashcroft buys a rump of Debenhams for Frasers to retain at least a lower mid market department store chain in Britain but my own view is 90 stores max is what is needed for national coverage so more will shut.

  2. They have had countless opportunities to save the business since 2008 but with a washing line of bad management and bad decisions the opportunities have been lost and in the last five years, the brand has been harmed as lost staff and customers loose faith in the company.

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