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Debenhams outsources call centre

More than 200 jobs are at risk at the retailer Debenhams' call centre in Somerset, which it will outsource to keep up with growing call volumes from its online operation.

The department store chain is to outsource its customer contact centre to Capita, which is based in Leeds, and 230 staff at its call centre in Taunton have been put on consultation. All the affected staff have been offered the option to transfer to Leeds from mid- to late-summer this year.

A Debenhams spokeswoman said: "The face of modern retail is changing". In addition to its website, Debenhams has recently added a mobile site and in-store kiosks, which means that customer enquiries and volumes are expected to "rapidly grow in the next three years". The spokeswoman added that it already outsourced nearly 50 per cent of its calls to a third party. Following a strategic review, the retailer has appointed Capita.