To the 25,000 people who work in Debenhams’, we can say that ” This is what monopoly capitalism is” but it will provide no relief to them as their jobs will still remain in grave danger.
But that is the sad truth which we can neither avoid nor escape. The banks, high street stores and the edge of town supermarkets in Britain engage in a world where one eats the other when required, where the larger and the dirty ones eat the ones who stumble and get left behind.
Out of a total of 166 Debenhams’ stores, the workers in a minimum of 50 stores have been marked for closing before time as the ones who have provided credit to the company are set to take over the company and sell its assets. These creditors include Barclays, US hedge funds and the Bank of Ireland.
The creditors can sell the whole company or a major part of it but that that is a distant possibility because of the huge pre-tax loss of the company last year, which amounts to near about 491 million euros.
As for the concern of the creditors, their first objective as of now is to get back the loans that they give along with the suitable interest and any amount of profit that can be generated. They will definitely provide no heed to the interest of the employees, the shoppers, and the local communities.
If Mike Ashley of Sport’s Direct had been successful in converting his thirty percent share of Debenhams’ into autocratic control after the unproficiet directors of the Debenhams’ had given their resignation the fate of the people who worked there would not have been any different from what it is now. When Mike Ashley bought the House of Fraser in August last year it provided a hint for the same.
At that time he was a small stakeholder. He had warned the incompetent failed executives that he will sue them. He purchased the House of Fraser on that very day on which it went into administration with 90 million euros in cash.
After that, very soon he made an announcement regarding a fresh round of closing of stores. He then reprieved most of these stores only before he closed five stores over the period of Christmas and New Year.
He saved his shareholding stake and then trusted money into the Fraser chain. In this way, he was able to save thousands of jobs while on the other hand making a sacrifice of hundreds of other jobs. Had his gain of control over Debenhams’ succeeded or it may happen that he buys the units of Debenhams’ under some kind of clearance sale but the forces of the capitalist market will still force him to carry out a major justification of his stretched high street empire. This can happen sometime sooner or later and this will mean that there will be more shutdowns and more similar things.
The similar trend to monopolization and rationalization is an in the born character of capitalism.