Debenhams is poised to cut 170 full-time jobs in the Republic of Ireland.

The department store chain has entered in to a consultation process with its 2,400 staff in the country. A spokesman for Debenhams said that none of the stores would close and the retailer remained committed to Ireland. Debenhams expects many of the job losses to be voluntary.

The spokesman said: “We have informed our employees in the Republic of Ireland that in light of the difficult economic and retail climate in Ireland we have taken action to ensure we have a right-sized flexible workforce that will enable us to prosper and grow. Debenhams is committed to Ireland and hopes to invest further in the country by opening new stores once this action has been completed.”

He stressed that the action is “Ireland-centric” and would not impact the UK business.

Debenhams has 11 stores in Ireland including four department stores in Dublin, two in Cork and others in Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Newbridge.

Debenhams has invested €45m (£39.3m) in its Irish portfolio over the past few years. In 2006 it acquired nine stores in the country from Roches.

Ireland has been severely impacted by the recession with soaring levels of unemployment and weak consumer confidence adversely impacting retail sales.

Debenhams has a total of 144 department stores in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in total.

Last week it revealed like-for-like sales rose 0.1% over the 18 weeks to January 2 and said the trading outlook remains uncertain.