Job losses loom for Debenhams chain

For Harrogate shoppers - and staff members - anxious about the future of Debenhams, there is bad news and slightly better news.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 10:03 am
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 10:08 am
Debenham department store on Parliament Street in Harrogate.

Firstly, the famous department store chain announced today it had made record losses and wss planning to close up to 50 stores.

The losses have been caused not by a slump in profits, its boss Sergio Bucher said. They have been caused by a one-off write-downs of £512.4m, linked to store and lease provisions.

Talking to the BBC, Mr Bucher said: "As we said in September, we generated £160m of operating cash, we generated £33m in profit before tax."In the year to September the department store group lost £491.5m, against profits of £59m the year before.

Dehenhams boasts 165 stores with staff totaling 27,000.

Debenhams, which has 166 branches, previously said it planned to close 10 stores.Now at least 4,000 jobs could be at risk nationwide if 50 stores were to close.

In terms of the Harrogate branch on Parliament Street, which sells own-brand and international fashion, beauty and homeware products, the company has not named any of the stores it is looking at closing at all.

In fact, it has not even said when it will be making any such announcement.

Anxious times for the Harrogate branch...