Debenhams issues profit warning for third time this year

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Department store chain Debenhams has issued profit warnings for the third time this year.

The retailer, which has stores in Lincoln, Scunthorpe, Nottingham, Sheffield and Doncaster, issued its first warning in January, with chief executive Sergio Bucher stating there has been no significant improvement since.

Debenhams’ chief executive has also stated that the UK high street is facing ‘exceptionally difficult times’.

This profit warning follows the news earlier this month that loss-making House of Fraser plans to close 31 of its shops, including those on Lincoln High Street and in Freshney Place Shopping Centre, Grimsby.

These closures will affect around 6,000 jobs across the country, however at the time of writing it is unknown how many jobs in Lincolnshire this will affect.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher said: “It is well-documented that these are exceptionally difficult times in UK retail, and our trading performance in this quarter reflects that.

“We don’t see these conditions changing in the near future and, because it is our priority to maintain a robust balance sheet, we are making very careful choices about how we deploy capital.

“We see clear evidence of progress as our digital growth outperforms the market and customers respond positively to our product improvements and format trials.

“We have also put in place a leaner operational structure and made a number of important hires so that we are well-equipped to navigate the market turbulence.”