Irish branches of Debenhams avoid closure

Irish branches of Debenhams avoid closure

Irish branches of Debenhams have avoided cuts with 22 shops in the UK set to close their doors.

1,200 jobs are at risk in the UK, as the struggling chain's new owners try to return it to profitability.

The chain has outlets in Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Waterford, none of which were listed as the 22 facing closure.

The group has announced a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will see the affected shops continue trading until early 2020.

Debenhams went into a pre-pack administration earlier this month, wiping out the stakes of all shareholders including Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley.

Debenhams also released a financial update for the 26 weeks to March 2, showing that sales at its UK stores declined by 7.4% during the period due to weaker footfall.

Underlying earnings declined by 36.6% to £65.9 million.

Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said: “Although many will not be surprised by the closure announcements, this is devastating news for Debenhams employees who have battled hard to keep the company afloat.

“They will join the tens of thousands of retail workers made redundant in recent months.

He added: “It’s about time this Government stopped bickering over Brexit and did something to stem retail job losses and reinvigorate Britain’s high streets.”

The stores expected to close in 2020 are: Altrincham, Ashford, Birmingham Fort, Canterbury, Chatham, Eastbourne, Folkestone, Great Yarmouth, Guildford, Kirkcaldy, Orpington, Slough, Southport, Southsea, Staines, Stockton, Walton, Wandsworth, Welwyn Garden City, Wimbledon, Witney, Wolverhampton.

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