Future of Worthing's Debenhams uncertain as retail giant announces store closures

Reports of a major department store chain closing dozens of stores has raised doubts around the future of one of Worthing's flagship retailers.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 1:40 pm
Debenhams in South Street, Worthing SUS-181025-112432001
Debenhams in South Street, Worthing SUS-181025-112432001

This morning (October 25) the BBC reported Debenhams had posted ‘record annual losses’ and said it would close up to 50 stores, putting 4,000 jobs at risk.

In the report, Debenhams’ chief executive Sergio Bucher is quoted as saying the stores earmarked for closure were ‘currently contributing positively’, but current trends suggested they would not remain profitable and would be closed down ‘over the next three to five years’.

The future of Worthing’s South Street Debenhams has not been revealed, but town centre manager Sharon Clarke is keen for the retail giant to remain in the town.

“They are not announcing anything at the moment,” she said.

“Any retailer is important, as it gives people a reason to come to town. A department store is somewhere where you can buy anything and it is important that Worthing has a good retail offering.

“Debenhams is very good at offering discounts and bringing people in. We are very hopeful that Debenhams will stay open.”

Mrs Clarke said Sergio Bucher had visited the Worthing store recently and told town centre management that he was happy with how it was performing.

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