Debenhams has slashed a raft of senior and director level roles across its men’s, women’s and children’s wear departments, as part of a head office restructuring, Drapers can reveal.
Debenhams director of buying Rob Faucherand, trading director for menswear and childrenswear Paul Baldwin and head of menswear design Julian Fuller are all understood to have left the business.
Diane Frankel, head of buying for womenswear, Alice Duggan, head of buying for womenswear – casual, and Russell Fish, head of design, have also left, Drapers understands.
All have worked at Debenhams for more than a decade.
The departures are the latest job cuts in an ongoing, wide-reaching consultation process across the business, as the retailer tries to reduce teams as part of a cost-cutting drive.
A source close to the situation said: “They are having a big restructuring, in one division there are 60 people that will now be about 12 people.”
One industry source told Drapers: “It’s savage. Some departments have been severely cut. It’s more than a major pruning – it’s a cull. Debenhams has a lot of issues that have been built up over the years and it requires very drastic action.”
Another source said: “It has needed to be done. The situation at Debenhams has been terrible.”
Debenhams declined to comment on individual departures but said in a statement: “Earlier this year we detailed our intentions to structure the organisation around three business units: beauty and beauty services; fashion and home; and food and events.
“As set out in our interim results recently, we have already started work on reducing complexity across the business, including simplifying our processes in store and reducing the number of grades in our UK support centres, and this work will continue over the coming months.”
In addition to the departures, Debenhams has appointed Charlotte Burrows as digital director, who it said will be “joining to drive forward our digital ambitions.” Burrows joins from Estee Lauder, where she held the position of director of online for the UK and Ireland.
Debenhams’ profit before tax plummeted 84.6% year on year to £13.5m in the 26 weeks to 3 March. Group EBITDA dropped 30.6% to £103.5m for the half-year.