Facebook to take over Debenhams’ London office as retailer cuts costs

Facebook is to take over the London offices left empty by Debenhams after the beleaguered retailer said it would cut costs by moving out.

The 175,000 sq ft space at Regent’s Place, near London’s Euston station, has been home to the department store’s head office since 2013.

But Debenhams announced on Thursday that it would return its central functions to the upper floors of its Oxford Street flagship store, as part of its efforts to cut costs.

Chief executive Sergio Bucher said surrendering the lease to landlord British Land would deliver a “material saving” in the company’s annual rent bill.

“At the same time, our customers will continue to have the best of what we have to offer in a better-curated store still trading over five floors,” he added.

Meanwhile, Facebook, which has occupied space in the development for more than five years, will expand to additional floors.

It means the tech giant will have a total of 290,000 sq ft at Regent’s Place.

The company also has a custom-built 247,000 sq ft office in Rathbone Square, just off Oxford Street.

Debenhams also announced on Thursday that it had been given the green light to press ahead with a £200 million refinancing, paving the way for the likely wipeout of existing shareholders, including Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

The troubled retailer said it has received approval from the majority of its bondholders to make amendments to loan notes due in 2021.

It will allow Debenhams to embark on a wider restructuring in an effort to secure the future of the business, part of which is likely to include store closures.

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