Debenhams looks for Ireland restructure
Department store chain Debenhams has put its loss-making 11 Republic of Ireland stores into administration.
While the stores are in examinership, the Irish equivalent of administration, they will remain open and continue to trade.
The five branches in Northern Ireland are not affected.
The company said that the Irish division has continued to make losses in recent years. ‘The decision to seek examinership follows several years of losses at Debenhams Retail (Ireland) culminating in a financial loss of €6.7m (£5.27m) in the last financial year ended August, 29, 2015.
This reflects disproportionately high operating costs, such as above-market rents and other overheads,’ said the chain.
John Bebbington, Debenhams Retail (Ireland) director said that the company would work hard to secure the long-term future of the business in the Republic.
‘A key element of the examinership would be to protect as many jobs as possible. We believe this will be in the best long term interests of all our stakeholders. During the examinership process it will be business as usual for all of our stores and online trading,’ he said.
The 11 stores have 1,415 staff and last year increased sales by €3m to €166.5m.