Sep 11, 2018

Debenhams boss rails at 'nosy neighbours'

Sir Ian said that speculation it was actively driving an insolvency process aimed at reducing store rents with landlords and cutting stores, known as a company voluntary arrangement, was "Simply not true". Last year, Debenhams said that 10 of its 165 UK stores might have to close over the next five years. Since then two of those stores have closed - Farnborough and Eltham in south-east London - with eight remaining stores still under review. The business is also looking at raising cash by selling off its Scandinavian department store chain Magasin du Nord for as much as £200m. Many of Debenhams' rivals are also struggling, with House of Fraser entering administration and Marks and Spencer saying it intends to close 100 shops. Sir Ian said the entire retail sector faced a "Structural shift" as more shoppers went online, but he denied the department store format was "Dead".

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