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Department store group Debenhams is planning to cut 320 store management jobs as it tries to drive down costs. The retailer said last month it was stepping up cost-cutting plans after it issued a profit warning because of disappointing trading over Christmas.

Debenhams said a review of its stores had identified “significant cost savings by reducing the complexity of management roles in stores”.

The 320 posts affected account for a quarter of store management roles.

“We are currently consulting with individuals affected and will seek redeployment opportunities where possible,” Debenhams said in a statement.

“We envisage our new structure being fully in place by the end of March.”

Shares in Debenhams fell sharply in January after it said its UK like-for-like sales – which strip out the impact of store openings and closures – fell 2.6% in the 17 weeks to 30 December amid a “volatile and competitive” market.

As a result, it cut its full-year profit forecast to between £55m and £65m this year, against analysts’ expectations of about £83m.

Debenhams is the UK’s second-biggest department store operator. It currently operates 246 stores in 26 countries.

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