Debenhams’ claim that it now has the set-up and cash to push forward with its recovery plan may come with a few caveats on news that the retailer could be seeking a £50 million cash buffer before the end of the year.
Debenhams chairman Terry Duddy was bullish on the chances of the chain’s recovery being a success in an interview at the weekend with the recently-appointed exec also saying that some stores may be downsized.
Sergio Bucher, the CEO who hoped to turn Debenhams around but has presided over its decline, is expected to set down from his role within the next few days with some observers saying news could come as soon as Monday.
Debenhams issued a very short statement on Monday saying that it was in talks on its financing needs. But it spoke volumes in terms of the retailer’s determination to rebuff attempts by Mike Ashley to take control.
Debenhams has secured a temporary cash injection to tide it over while talks go on and it also has a new own-brand sourcing deal with Li & Fung that should help it respond faster to trends with better quality product.
There’s rarely good news surrounding UK department store Debenhams these days, and its Christmas trading update on Thursday certainly didn't deliver much, although there were some crumbs of comfort in a bleak report.