Debenhams has hired a new property director from the hospitality sector, replacing Rob Hadfield who has exited the retailer.

Clive Bentley comes from Eat, where he led a store transformation portfolio, helping to reverse significant financial losses. Prior to that he completed a strategic restructure of the property portfolio at Prezzo and led the expansion of Costa’s global portfolio from 73 to more than 3,300 stores.

Bentley, who will report to new chief financial officer Rachel Osborne, replaces Hadfield, who has been at Debenhams for eight years.

The ailing department store, which reported its biggest ever statutory loss last month, is planning to close up to 50 underperforming stores within the next three to five years – up from the 10 it previously earmarked for closure – following what boss Sergio Bucher described as “a tough year for retail”.

The move will result in around 4,000 job losses.

Bucher said Bentley would “bring a wealth of experience as we transform our property portfolio and work with landlords to redefine a new future for our store estate”.