Debenhams axes 2,500 jobs in bid to cut costs after coronavirus lockdown

 

Debenhams has axed 2,500 jobs as it seeks to reduce costs following the coronavirus lockdown, in the latest blow for the struggling UK high street.

The department store chain, which permanently closed 20 stores during the lockdown, said the trading environment is “clearly a long way from returning to normal” after lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The employees affected by today’s redundancy announcements, who work in stores and the retailer’s distribution center, have been informed, Debenhams said.

Thousands of high street jobs have been lost since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK in March.

John Lewis, Boots, Oasis and Warehouse are among the retailers to cut staff numbers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Debenhams today that it has reopened 124 stores since non-essential stores were given the go-ahead to reopen.

The stores were trading “ahead of management expectations” it said.

 “We have successfully reopened 124 stores, post-lockdown, and these are currently trading ahead of management expectations,” the company said in a statement.

“At the same time, the trading environment is clearly a long way from returning to normal and we have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations.

“Those colleagues affected by redundancy have been informed and we are very grateful to them for their service and commitment to Debenhams.

“Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.”