DEPARTMENT store group Debenhams has announced announced it could close up to ten of its 176 UK stores over the next five years.

The company says it wants to boost its appeal as a destination shop and improve its online offering.

It could also shut a central distribution warehouse and about 10 smaller warehouses.

The firm plans to step up investment in its in-store cafes, restaruants and beauty services.

Debenhams has not revealed which of its ten stores are under review for closure.

But it has pledged to "refresh and remerchandise" the rest of its outlets - likely to include the Taunton store - in a bid to increase profitability.

The announcement comes after the group posted a half-year pre-tax profit fall of 6.4 per cent to £88 million and saw it share price tumble almost five per cent.

The news comes as Marks and Spencer has announced plans to close stores in Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, and Wokingham, along with Simply Food stores in Monks Cross near York and Worksop.