Debenhams could close up to 90 stores and ax 10,000 jobs as part of radical rescue plan
- Debenhams said in October that it had earmarked 50 stores for closure
- Now it is said to be close to 90 stores, with 10,000 job losses
- Debenhams shares down 6.7% in morning trading today
Camilla Canocchi for Thisismoney.co.uk
Debenhams could close up to 90 stores, resulting in the loss of 10,000 jobs, as part of a radical restructuring plan, it has been reported.
The struggling department store, which has a total of 165 stores in the UK and Ireland, announced last month that it had earmarked 50 stores for closure.
But now the company's board has another 30 to 40 stores to the list of closures, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Debenhams has declined to comment.
Key time: Debenhams needs to renegotiate leases and debts as part of a restructuring
It follows a weekend's report in The Mail on Sunday suggesting that billionaire Mike Ashley, who is Debenham's biggest shareholder, is trying to install himself as chief executive of the firm.
The department store was thrown into deeper turmoil last week after a dismal Christmas prompted Ashley to stage a coup and throw chairman Sir Ian Cheshire off the board.
Chief executive Sergio Bucher was also booted off the board but has been kept on the lead for the time being.
Debenhams suffered a dismal 2018 which saw the issue of three profit warnings, with a share of more than 85 per cent.
Its shares are now less than 4p each. This morning, they fell 6.7 per cent to 3.64p.
Debenhams is going through a key time as it needs to renegotiate leases and debts as part of a restructuring.
It is likely to be complete before the next quarterly rents are due to the end of March, or a painful restructuring that could involve partial insolvency, known as a CVA.