Debenhams could close up to 90 stores and axe 10,000 jobs as part of radical rescue plan
- Debenhams said in October that it had earmarked 50 stores for closure
- Now it is said to be looking to close up to 90 stores, with 10,000 job losses
- Debenhams shares down 6.7% in morning trading today
Debenhams could close up to 90 stores, resulting in the loss of 10,000 jobs, as part of a radical restructuring plan, it has been reported.
The struggling department store, which has a total of 165 stores in the UK and Ireland, announced in October last year that it had earmarked 50 stores for closure.
But now the company’s board has added another 30 to 40 stores to the list of closures, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Debenhams has declined to comment.
Key time: Debenhams needs to renegotiate leases and debts soon as part of a restructuring
It follows a weekend’s report in The Mail on Sunday suggesting that billionaire Mike Ashley, who is Debenhams biggest shareholder, repeatedly attempted to install himself as chief executive of the firm.
The department store was thrown into deeper turmoil last week after a dismal Christmas prompted Ashley to stage a coup and throw chairman Sir Ian Cheshire off the board.
Chief executive Sergio Bucher was also booted off the board but has been kept on to lead the firm for the time being.
Debenhams suffered a dismal 2018 which saw it issue three profit warnings, causing its share price to slump more than 85 per cent.
Its shares are now less than 4p each. This morning, they fell 6.7 per cent to 3.64p.
Debenhams is going through a key time as it needs to renegotiate leases and debts soon as part of a restructuring.
It is likely to want to complete that before the next quarterly rents are due at the end of March, or face a more painful restructuring that could involve a partial insolvency, known as a CVA.