Debenhams cuts 320 middle-managers in cost-saving drive


Debenhams reported disappointing Christmas sales in January (Source: Getty)

Debenhams announced hundreds of job cuts this morning as rising costs continued to cripple employment in the retail industry.

The department store is cutting 320 middle managers, a decision similar to that taken by both Morrisons and Sainsbury's.

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Debenhams said it was axing store management roles as part of a cost-cutting drive following disappointing sales figures over the crucial Christmas period.

At time of writing, Debenhams' share price was down 1.3 per cent to 28.9p. The company's share price slumped 20 per cent in January when it warned on profits. Over the final quarter of the year, Debenhams' like-for-like sales in the UK fell by 2.6 per cent.

The retailer will complete its restructuring by the end of March, and plans to redeploy staff within other areas of the business if possible.

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said 2018 was starting to look like "a year of distress for the UK retail industry".

"The major challenge facing bricks-and-mortar retailers is the continued pincer movement of rising operating and sourcing costs against a backdrop of shifting shopper behaviour," Lim said.

"Put simply, department stores are incredibly expensive to operate while they are also burdened with inflexible leases, high rents and too many properties."

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