Debenhams considers closing ten stores

Debenhams was founded in 1778.
Debenhams was founded in 1778.

Department store company Debenhams is considering closing up to ten of its 176 UK stores.

The retailer said that it aimed to simplify the way that people did their shopping, both online and offline, and that it wanted to make more effective use of people, inventory and infrastructure.

It also said it wanted to move around 2,000 of its staff into customer-facing roles as part of a plan which it is calling 'Fix the Basics'.

The ten stores under review for closure, 'should they not meet our return objectives', have not been named.

The company's shares fell by 3.5 per cent following the announcement.

Sergio Bucher, chief executive of Debenhams, said: "Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too.

"If we deliver differentiated and distinctive brands, services and experiences both online and in stores, our customers will visit us more frequently and, having simplified our operations to make us more efficient, we will be able to serve them better and make better use of our resources."

Debenhams on Thursday reported a 6.4 per cent fall in first-half profit to £87.8million.