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Debenhams finance chief quits after profit warning

Debenhams issued a severe profit warning earlier this week. Credit: PA Wire

The finance director of Debenhams has quit days after the retail company issued a massive profit warning.

The company, which lowered its profit outlook after the hoped-for surge in last-minute Christmas shopping failed to materialise, said Simon Herrick had left with immediate effect.

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Debenhams unveils its new size 16 mannequins

High street department store Debenhams has unveiled its new size 16 mannequins at its Oxford Street store - the first UK retailer to do so permanently.

The mannequins are lined up in Debenhams' Oxford Street store. Credit: Debenhams

The mannequins will appear alongside size 10 dummies on all women's fashion floors at the London store, before being introduced in all 170 of Debenhams' UK stores.

Debenhams to use size 16 mannequins from today

Size 16 mannequins are to become a permanent fixture at high street retailer Debenhams from today.

The new mannequins, which were trialled three years ago, will be used at its shop in Oxford Street, London.

They will appear alongside size 10 dummies on all women's fashion floors, before being introduced in all 170 of Debenhams' UK stores.

The new mannequins will be on display at Debenhams' Oxford Street store from today. Credit: Press Association

Size 10 is the standard size for mannequins on the high street - three sizes smaller that the new mannequins.

Debenhams director Ed Watson said: "The average British woman is a size 16, but the high street has been showing them clothing on a mannequin that is three sizes smaller - until now.

"Having worked on this project for three years, we hope that it will help people in some small way to feel comfortable about their bodies and, crucially, that other retailers will follow."

Record sales in December for Debenhams

Debenhams had its best ever December performance, the department store has announced.

Like-for-like sales in the five weeks to January 5 rose 5%, helping comparable sales in the first 18 weeks of its financial year lift 2.9%.

A general view of a Debenhams Store in Belfast city centre
Debenhams had record sales in December Credit: Paul Faith/PA

The group, which has 155 UK stores and 73 overseas outlets, cut prices by up to 50% in one-day promotions on some products in what chief executive Michael Sharp said was the most competitive Christmas in his 37-year career in retail.

He said shoppers were more "canny" and left shopping until much later this year in the hope of picking up bargains ahead of Christmas as well as during the traditional sale period.

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