A MAJOR high street store has declined to say whether staff in Winchester are at risk, or even if the city’s store will stay open, as part of a national restructure.

Debenhams, which has a store in Winchester High Street, is set to slash 320 UK store management roles to save money after poor sales figures were revealed.

The chain, which also has branches in Southampton, Basingstoke and Fareham, said the restructuring efforts would bring “significant cost savings”.

Now it has refused to confirm the future of its Winchester branch.

When asked by our reporter if any staff in the city would be affected by the restructure, or whether the store would be closing, a spokesman said: “As part of the implementation of the Debenhams redesigned strategy a review of our store structure has been undertaken.

“The review has identified significant cost savings by reducing the complexity of management roles in stores as well as processes to optimise and standardise ways of working.

“The effect is that potentially 320 positions are at risk of redundancy – approximately 25% of store management roles. We are currently consulting with individuals affected and will seek redeployment opportunities where possible.

“We envisage our new structure being fully in place by the end of March.”

Debenhams saw its share price fall by as much as 24% last month after warnings were issued over profits and prices were slashed in a bid to boost lacklustre festive sales.

The chain revealed that UK like-for-like sales had dropped 2.6% in the 17 weeks to December 30, with overall group sales down 1.8%.

As a result, it aims to make £10 million in savings for this financial year and £20 million extra annually under a reorganisation led by chief executive Sergio Bucher.

The news comes after fellow high street giant TK Maxx announced that its new Winchester store will being opening on March 8 in The Brooks Shopping Centre, while last summer neighbouring store Next quit the High Street, with plans currently being consulted over to convert it into a Travelodge hotel.