Debenhams is to drive its international presence further by launching in the Australian and Vietnamese markets in 2016. The move comes on the back of agreements with local market partners, Pepkor in Australia (part of the global retail giant, Steinhoff Group) and VinDS, part of Vingroup, one of Vietnam’s largest private companies.
A phased approach to expansion into Australia will see Debenhams enter the southern hemisphere for the first time. A dedicated Debenhams-led Australian ecommerce site will launch prior to Christmas 2015, offering products tailored to the market, local currency payment and be the retailer’s first region-specific site.
Debenhams’ own brand womenswear, womens’ accessories and menswear products will be distributed and retailed within selected, Pepkor-owned, Harris Scarfe stores from October 2016. Future plans include the launch of Debenhams branded franchise stores offering the full product range including fashion, cosmetics and home.
In Vietnam, Vingroup will distribute products in their Fashion Megastore department store chain from early 2016 with selected womenswear and menswear brands sold in 15 stores across the country by the end of the year.
John Scott, Director of International Business Development for Debenhams said, “Both deals are hugely exciting and significant for Debenhams.
Australia is a market that we have been reviewing for a number of years and we are delighted to be working with Pepkor, and the wider Steinhoff Group. They are a true global player with the necessary resource and local market expertise to drive our business forward in the region.
Working with Vingroup we will equally benefit from their market leading knowledge and expertise in the Vietnamese market. Plans to grow the Fashion Megastore concept over the coming years will see Vingroup take a dominant position in the department store sector which Debenhams will now be part of.”
Debenhams currently has 248 stores across 28 countries, seeking continuous growth in overseas business to around 30% of the total through franchise expansion, international online growth and distributing owned brands beyond Debenhams franchise markets. Debenhams recently opened up its largest global franchise store in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The retailer’s second store in Avia Park, Moscow, is the largest Debenhams store opened to date in mainland Europe.