Debenhams is to roll out a new computer network across its UK and Ireland department stores to save money and time when sending data between stores and the supply chain.

As part of the five-year contract Debenhams will overhaul its network in its 159 stores, as well as its warehouses and data centres ahead of the busy Christmas trading period. BT and Debenhams were unable to provide a figure for expected cost savings.

BT will also provide new technology to help Debenhams monitor the performance of its tills, supply chain systems and transactional database. The technology will identify areas of the computer network that are performing poorly, so that they can be fixed quickly.

Debenhams IT director Steve Kircher said: “It’s a fundamental requirement for retailers to have IT systems that are always available - transmitting vital sales, transactions and information.”

Debenhams will also use a security monitoring service run by BT Counterpane to help alert it to software vulnerabilities, threats and malicious attacks.

Last week, Debenhams, said that it expected headline profit before tax and exceptional items to hit £150m in the year to August 28, ahead of market expectations.