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Debenhams to axe more than 300 management roles

PUBLISHED: 14:01 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:01 08 February 2018

Debenhams is to cut 320 store management roles. Picture: JAMES BASS

Debenhams is to cut 320 store management roles. Picture: JAMES BASS

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2008

Debenhams is to cut 320 store management roles as it pushes through major cost-cutting measures to counteract flagging sales.

The department store chain said driving down the “complexity” of management positions and changing working practices would bring “significant” savings.

The new structure – expected to be rolled out by the end of March – could affect up to 25% of store management roles across the organisation,

The retailer saw its share price slump by almost a quarter in January after warning over profits and slashing prices to bolster lacklustre festive sales.

It also announced plans to ramp up cost savings, with around another £10m earmarked for this financial year and £20m extra annually under a reorganisation led by chief executive Sergio Bucher.

Debenhams said: “As part of the implementation of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy a review of our store structure has been undertaken.

“The review has identified significant cost savings by reducing the complexity of management roles in stores as well as processes to optimise and standardise ways of working.

“The effect is that potentially 320 positions are at risk of redundancy – approximately 25% of store management roles.

“We are currently consulting with individuals affected and will seek redeployment opportunities where possible.”

Debenhams revealed in January that UK like-for-like sales had tumbled 2.6% in the 17 weeks to December 30, with overall group sales down 1.8%.

It warned at the time that “should the current competitive and volatile environment continue” into the second half, full-year profit before tax is likely to be in the range of £55m to £65m.

Shares in the firm were down 0.3% in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

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