Debenhams axes 19 UK stores affecting 600 jobs

This is the first wave of 50 store closures scheduled for the UK over the next year

British retailer Debenhams has kicked off the new decade with the closure of 19 UK stores, affecting 660 jobs.

The stores will shut over an eight day period, starting from 11 January, and includes shops across the UK from Scotland to Surrey.

The closures are the first of 50 to take place, following an initial announcement in 2018; the next stores to close are earmarked for 2021.

“We are working hard to implement the transformation of Debenhams,” said Debenhams’ CEO Stefaan Vansteenkiste.

“Despite a challenging retail environment, thanks to our colleagues’ hard work and our investor group’s commitment we are progressing with our turnaround.”

The new year has been described as a make-or-break year for the retailer after it fell into administration in April 2019 and failed to meet revenue expectations.

In an effort to turn around the business, Debenhams has hired a host of experienced retail executives; these include the addition of House of Fraser’s former CFO Mark Gifford and Argos’ ex-boss John Walden to its board.

Store closure locations include:

Altrincham, Greater Manchester - 11 January

Birmingham The Fort - 11 January

Kirkcaldy, Fife - 11January

Walton-on-Thames, Surrey - 11 January

Wandsworth, London - 11 January

Wolverhampton - 11 January

Chatham, Kent - 15 January

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk - 15 January

Slough, Berkshire - 15 January

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham - 15 January

Welwyn, Hertfordshire - 15 January

Witney, Oxfordshire - 15 January

Ashford, Kent - 19 January

Canterbury, Kent - 19 January

Eastbourne, East Sussex - 19 January

Folkestone, Kent - 19 January

Southport, Merseyside - 19 January

Southsea, Portsmouth - 19 January

Wimbledon, London - 19 January