Debenhams stores to create 400 jobs in towns

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TWO hundred jobs in Barnsley and a further 200 in Chesterfield look set to be created by the opening of two new department stores by retail giant Debenhams.

Barnsley’s refurbished market area, right in the town centre, will have a new store built in 2014, Debenhams has announced.

A second new store is to be opened in Chesterfield on the Ravenside Retail Park on the edge of the town centre.

That store should be open in 2012 or 2013.

The news came as Debenhams announced it will open nine new stores across the country in the next four years.

Group sales were reported yesterday to be up by 4.5 per cent, and profits were up for the third year running by 10 per cent to £166 million.

The results, announced by Debenhams’ new chief executive Michael Sharp, buck high street gloom. Mr Sharp said: “This is a strong signal that the UK high street is alive and well and we are backing it 100 per cent.

“It’s great news for job seekers as well as shoppers across the country.

“It also shows a very real commitment to our clear focus on growing our UK retail business. I’m delighted that over the next few years more customers than ever before will have access to the UK’s top name beauty brands and our exclusive and ever-growing designer range at Debenhams offer.” Mr Sharp said his property team is actively looking for further sites to expand the group’s offering.