UK department store retailer Debenhams is planning to shed 170 jobs from its Irish retail operation, just-style can confirm.

The company hopes many of the positions will be accounted for by voluntary redundancies, and is making the cutbacks as part of a wider businessrealignment in Ireland.

The job losses are due to "the tough retail climate in Ireland," a company spokesperson told just-style.

Debenhams, which has 11 stores employing 2,400 people in Ireland, believes that the measures will help safeguard existing jobs there, insisting it is fully committed to the country's retail market.