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Will landlords vote down Debenhams' turnaround plan?

Debenhams is struggling.

It needs to cut its costs and its debts to survive.

On Friday, it launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in an attempt to reduce its rent bill.

Landlords are bearing the brunt of this restructuring.

Some 22 of Debenhams 166 department stores will close after Christmas in a decision that affect town and city centres from Canterbury to Kirkcaldy.

The company expects to close around 30 stores in future too but has not yet said where.

At the stores Debenhams hopes to keep, the company wants landlords to accept reductions in rent of up to 50%.

Landlords could vote down the CVA proposal in 10 days' time, but but doing so would risk pushing Debenhams back into administration.

There's no obvious sign of rebellion.

One landlord told me they would accept the reductions, since "some rent is better than nothing".

Landlords grumble about the unfairness of CVA’s but tend to vote them through, although in most cases the businesses concerned end up on back on their knees again before too long.

And Debenham’s rent bill is not its only problem.

The company’s latest results show stores sales continued to slide alarmingly in the six months until March.

Online sales grew, but weakly.

Shoppers are spending more and more online but less and less at Debenhams.