€25m rental bill the main problem for Debenhams, as it enters examinership

€25m rental bill the main problem for Debenhams, as it enters examinership

Update 8.45am: Gerry Light from trade union Mandate has said Debenhams 1,400 workers are afraid of losing their jobs, as they company's Irish operation enters examinership.

He said: "Our members are reeling at the announcement yesterday. They’re very shocked and disappointed.

"Now we have face into the reality, to drill down into the issues with the examiner and with the company to see exactly what are the challenges facing the business."

Earlier:

There are fears over jobs at Debenhams after the retail chain's Irish stores were placed into examinership.

The chain employs more than 1,400 people at its eleven stores in the Republic of Ireland, which will remain open and continue trading.

The main financial problem for Debenhams is their rent bill, which is reportedly €25m a year.

Debenhams have told customers and staff that it's business as usual for the moment, as they aim to restructure their Irish operation.

SIPTU organiser Robert Purfield said workers were not expecting the news.

"Things have been hard for them in terms of sales, but we had it clear in our minds we were coming out of the worst of it," he said.

"I suppose at this stage there's not much we know, and that's adding to the shock and surprise workers are feeling."

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