Struggling Debenhams to cut 320 store management jobs in drive to cut costs

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.