unemployment

UK department store Debenhams cuts 2,500 jobs

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
UK department store Debenhams cuts 2,500 jobs

A woman wearing a face mask as a precaution walks past the shut and boarded up Debenhams department store on Oxford Street in London's main high street retail shopping area on May 22, 2020 as lockdown restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus remain in place. - UK retail sales dived by a record 18.1 percent in April with the country in coronavirus lockdown, triggering a surge in government borrowing to an unprecedented level, data showed on May 22. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

The coronavirus pandemic piles more pressure onto Debenhams, which had been struggling to survive long before the health crisis

United Kingdom department store chain Debenhams has axed 2,500 jobs, a spokesman said on Tuesday, August 11, as the coronavirus pandemic piles further pressure onto the long-suffering group.  

“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,” said a company statement. 

“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,” it added, with the spokesman confirming there had been “2,500 jobs cut.”

Debenhams was saved from collapse in April after securing a deal with creditors, but it had been struggling to survive long before the virus pandemic owing to a surge in online shopping.

The jobs announcement came after official data on Tuesday showed that the number of workers on UK company payrolls slumped by a further 114,000 in July from June.

A total 730,000 positions have been shed since March, when Britain went into lockdown over COVID-19, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

UK companies – from major retailers to airlines – are axing thousands of jobs despite government efforts to safeguard employment during the pandemic by subsidizing wages. – Rappler.com