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Debenhams suffers another credit downgrade

Department store chain Debenhams has seen its credit rating further downgraded.

Two months after it was downgraded due to weaker than expected profits, ratings company Moody’s has lowered Debenhams’ corporate rating from B2 to Caa1.

It has also downgraded the chain on a rating that measures the likelihood that it will default on one or more of its debt obligations from B2-PD to Caa1-PD.

Moody’s said Debenhams faced ‘aggressive’ pricing strategies from its competitors and expected it to make less money in the key Christmas trading period.

‘Downgrading Debenhams to Caa1 reflects the challenges it faces to improve its credit quality during 2019 in order to achieve a timely and cost effective refinancing of its current debt facilities,’ said David Beadle, Moody’s vice president.

Meanwhile the chain’s md of retail, digital, food and events is to leave. Ross Clemmow will depart in the new year to become a md at private equity group Bridgepoint. Clemmow joined Debenhams in 2013, and was ecommerce and retail director before his current role.