Struggling Debenhams to remove a layer of management

Struggling Debenhams to remove a layer of management

Struggling high-street retailer, Debenhams is to remove a layer of back office management by March – losing one in four of its store managers.

The 320 job cuts are part of a £10million cost-saving plan, announced in January when the retailer issued a profit warning following poor Christmas trading – The Guardian reports.

Debenhams said of the profits warning that the UK trading environment was “volatile and highly competitive.”

The company said it plans to redeploy staff where possible. Debenhams full year profits were estimated to be between £55million and £65million, below City expectations of £83million. Shares also dropped by 20% - The Guardian reports.

Post-Christmas sales were also worse than expected, with profit margins hit as a result of cutting prices to remain competitive.

Debenhams isn’t the only well-known retailer to strip a layer of managerial roles. Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have also taken similar measures and have cut thousands of roles as a result.

Just last week, supermarket giant Morrisons announced plans to axe 1,500 jobs in middle management. Sainsbury’s also announced plans to restructure management, changes which will affect deputy managers, department managers, team leaders and store supervisor roles.

Debenhams said of the restructuring: “We are reviewing our retail structure. The review looks to identify how we can reduce cost and complexity in store processes so that we can focus our resources on serving customers better.”

The retailer plans to focus more on shop floor staff to boost service.

Chief executive Sergio Boucher, who moved from Amazon to the store chain in October 2016, moved 2,000 staff to the shop floor not long after he took the top job. Under his recovery plan, he also closed two stores and is considering eight more closures.

The group employs 22,000 people across the UK and Ireland and owns 176 stores.

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