- Shares fall as U.K. department-store chain’s profits decline
- Marks & Spencer announces plan to open stores, close others
Debenhams Plc said it will shut stores as a new chief executive officer recruited from Amazon.com Inc. taps his experience at the e-commerce provider to try to revive the U.K. retailer’s flagging sales via a stronger online offering.
Debenhams, which operates a flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, said it will close as many as 10 U.K. outlets over the next five years and begin consultations on shutting one of three central distribution centers. The announcement came the same day that competitor Marks & Spencer Group Plc unveiled the first details of a five-year program to add dedicated food stores and shut some of its main town-center sites.
“Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too,” Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher said in a statement Thursday.
Debenhams and Marks & Spencer are adapting to a climate where the growth of convenience stores and online shopping are causing retailers to scale back their traditional town-center presence. Sterling’s decline in the wake of the Brexit vote has added to pressure…