Debenhams’ share plummeted six per cent this morning following reporter over the weekend that some insurers had reduced cover for its suppliers.
The Sunday Times said the retailer was facing “a cash crunch” because some credit insurers had tightened their terms for Debenhams’ suppliers.
Debenhams said in a statement: “Debenhams has a healthy balance sheet and cash position. All the credit insurers continue to provide cover to our suppliers and we maintain a constructive relationship with them. It is well-documented that market conditions are challenging, but Debenhams continues to be profitable, has a clear strategy in place and is taking decisive actions to strengthen the business.”
Meanwhile, new figures from the British Retail Consortium showed that footfall in June fell by 0.9 per cent on the previous year.
Helen Dickinson OBE, CEO, British Retail Consortium, said: “June’s good weather has again resulted in a marginal year-on-year improvement in footfall across the nation’s high streets, delivering the second month of consecutive growth since November 2017. However, retail parks and shopping centres have had an altogether more difficult time, albeit June 2017 was a tough comparable, and the overall trend of fewer visits to bricks and mortar stores remains.
“Consumer behaviour has changed, with shoppers now requiring much more choice in terms of how, when and where they shop and retailers are responding to this, investing in their physical store experiences and online presence. Initiatives such as the Government’s Great British High Street Awards are increasingly important as communities adapt and thrive during this period of retail transformation. However, considerable pressure on retail remains but policy makers can help by supporting our call for a two-year freeze in business rate increases to provide some headroom while a reform of the business rates system is carried out.”