British department store group Debenhams announced this morning (25 October) it is to shutter almost one-third of its store base - putting around 4,000 jobs at risk - amid what is understood to be the biggest loss in its 240-year history. The news, analysts say, is the starkest indication yet that the high street is floundering as, just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable that retailers were planning on cutting staff levels ahead of Christmas. With the department store model seemingly "unfit" for purpose in today's retail environment, the brands set to thrive will be those agile enough to offer consumers flexible ways to shop and pay while those who refuse to move with the times will be left to suffer the consequences.