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Retail jobs to be lost at fashion stores in Tayside and Fife

Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee
Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee

A fashion chain with shops across Tayside and Fife is to cut hundreds of jobs as it axes several management positions in its stores.

Debenhams is to axe 2,500 jobs across its stores and warehouses as the retailer looks to slash costs after sales were impacted by the coronavirus lockdown.

The department store – which has outlets in Perth, Dundee and Dunfermline – is scrapping the roles of sales manager, visual merchandise manager and selling support manager as part of a management restructuring process.

The move comes four months after Debenhams collapsed into administration.

Debenhams said it has no plans to shut more stores as part of the restructure.

The retailer has signed an agreement to remain in Dundee’s Overgate for at least another two years. It also has shops in Perth’s High Street and the Kingsgate Shopping Centre in Fife.

Hundreds of jobs have already been lost at the retailer since the start of lockdown after it permanently shut 18 stores.

Debenhams in Dundee before the shop closed during the Covid-19 lockdown

In April, it hired administrators from FRP Advisory in a protective measure against creditors demanding their money.

In May, the company said it would cut hundreds of jobs at its head office to help secure the company’s finances

A Debenhams spokesman said: “We have successfully reopened 124 stores, post-lockdown, and these are currently trading ahead of management expectations.

The Debenhams store, High Street, Perth

“At the same time, the trading environment is clearly a long way from returning to normal and we have to ensure our store costs are aligned with realistic expectations.

“Those colleagues affected by redundancy have been informed and we are very grateful to them for their service and commitment to Debenhams.

“Such difficult decisions are being taken by many retailers right now, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to give Debenhams every chance of a viable future.”

The announcement comes on the same day that it emerged that Zara has told customers its Dundee shop will close.

In April Overgate centre manager Malcolm Angus expressed his delight that a deal had been made with Debenhams at a time the retailer was considering reducing the size of its store estate.

He said: “Overgate has been in constructive talks with Debenhams and is pleased to have agreed initial terms with the retailer until at least January 2022.

“This positive development is welcome news for both the centre and the staff employed in the Debenhams store and reinforces Overgate’s commitment to support and strengthen relationships with key tenants.”

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