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East Anglia Future 50

Debenhams looking to close 20 stores this year

PUBLISHED: 09:19 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 04 February 2019

Debenhams shop / store, Norwich
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY
COPY:
FOR:EDP NEWS
© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434)

Debenhams shop / store, Norwich PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY COPY: FOR:EDP NEWS © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009 (01603 772434)

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

Debenhams is accelerating its store closure programme, and is looking to close 20 stores this year.

The department store chain announced in October 2018 that it was considering axing up to 50 of its 165 stores in the next three to five years, putting 4,000 jobs at risk.

However, this morning reports have revealed that this process will be sped up, with 20 potentially shutting this year.

The group has stores in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn - but questions as to whether any of these will be affected remain to be answered.

MORE: Analysis: Why is Debenhams closing 50 stores?

These closures are dependent on the outcomes of rent negotiations brought about by Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

CVAs are being used increasingly by companies on the struggling high street, as they ask property owners to slash rent prices to prevent the tenant moving out.

They have been used in recent times by the likes of Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian and New Look.

The store closures were announced last year as Debenhams swung to a £491.5 million loss in the year to September 1 after being stung by exceptional write-downs of £512.4 million, primarily relating to store and lease provisions, IT costs and impairment charges.

MORE: Debenhams reportedly looking to close third of UK stores
The loss compares to a £59 million profit in 2017.

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