Debenhams considers store closures

It's announced the results of a major strategic review...

The UK-based international high street retail group, Debenhams, is considering plans to close up to ten of its stores in the UK over the next three years as part of a major strategic review announced this morning with its half-year results.

The group’s eleven stores in Ireland, which went through an examinership process last year, will not be affected by the proposed closures.

Although it does state that it will consider leaving some "non-core international markets" in the future.

Precise figures for the Irish operation are not released, they are included in Debenhams international division. Its operating profits increased by 12%, growing to £26.5m.

It notes that its stores in Ireland have "benefited" from going through the examinership process.

Social shopping

Its growth plans focus on making its stores 'social' spaces and beefing up its online presence.

The group's chief executive, Sergio Bucher, who is a former Amazon boss, is in charge of this project.

"Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too. Shopping with Debenhams should be effortless, reliable and fun whichever channel our customers use. We will be a destination for 'Social Shopping' with mobile the unifying platform for interacting with our customers," he commented.

"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," Mr Bucher added.