Concerns over Debenhams future again as it seeks fresh rent cuts


Debenhams has worried landlords by seeking fresh rent cuts just seven months after they were slashed in a restructuring, raising fears over its survival prospects.

The retail chain is said to be targeting a further 25% reduction on about 20 stores in exchange for scrapping break clauses in the leases. The move has sparked panic among some property owners, who have sounded out rival Mike Ashley about taking on the sites when the break clauses become active.

Lenders to Debenhams, which is working with the agencies CWM and Time Retail, seized control after it collapsed in April and pushed through a restructuring the next month, sanctioning 22 store closures and rent cuts of up to 50% on a further 105. Debenhams had to borrow £50m more in October.