Employees at Debenhams in Gloucester have been left wondering whether their jobs are safe after the retailer announced the closure of up to 50 stores this morning.
After previously identifying just 10 branches, the company has now decided that a third of their department stores will be shut down, putting 4,000 jobs at risk across the country.
The company hasn’t yet released a list of the stores to close, but Gloucester’s landmark shop could be one of them.
A spokesperson for Debenhams said: “We have identified up to 50 stores, accounting for under 15% of total sales, which are currently profitable, but where we do not see a long-term future and which we intend to exit over the next three to five years.”
The retail giant stacked up a loss of £491.5m over the past year, the biggest since the company was established 240 years ago, despite seeing a 10% rise in online sales.
Employees at the Gloucester store aren’t the only ones that might be worried, the people of Gloucester are concerned about what losing Debenhams could mean for the town:
The news comes just weeks after Gloucester City Councillor Paul James announced a multi-million pound plan for the development of King’s Square, adding fountains, a performance area, and new markets.
The future of Debenhams in Gloucester is uncertain, but the public are already speculating on Twitter:
If Debenhams in Gloucester does close the Council could always demolish it and make the space part of the King’s Square re-development plan.
— Daren Haines (@DGH_V3) October 25, 2018
The Gloucester store has been awful for years, the product of under-investment. It’s a fine building but neither it nor Debenhams is fit for purpose. I hope they can pull something out of the bag.
— Marcus Green (@marcusinstroud) October 24, 2018
— Stella Parkes (@stellaparkes) October 25, 2018