Retail offer poorly received
Debenhams is understood to be pulling out of Germany after its trial franchise stores failed to perform.

The department store group opened a number of outlets in various locations across Germany earlier this year. However, the offer is believed to have been poorly received and the stores are likely to close down by the end of next month.

Debenhams has also reportedly been in talks with several European retailers about the possibility of a merger, including upmarket French department store Galeries Lafayette, KarstadtQuelle in Germany and Italy's La Rinascente, in an attempt to lift ailing performance.

The retailer has struggled for much of the time since its flotation last year after more than two years of private equity ownership.