Monday, December 11, 2017

Debenhams to overhaul stores & reduce fashion range to lure shoppers back

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The recently-appointed chief executive of Debenhams is poised to reveal plans to renovate its 165 stores and cut further in-house fashion brands in an attempt to lure shoppers back.

Plans are also afoot to increase investment to boost the number of in-store restaurants and beauty services, as well as some head office cost-savings, according to The Telegraph.

Sergio Bucher, who previously held senior positions at Zara parent company Inditex and Amazon before becoming Debenhams‘ boss in October, will reportedly unveil the strategy later this week when it releases its half-year trading update.

The department store chain is expected to record a three per cent uptick in half-year sales to £1.6 billion, and a six per cent dip in half-year profits to £88.2 million.

News of Bucher‘s plans for Debenhams comes as chairman Ian Cheshire said at the World Retail Congress in Dubai earlier this month that retailers needed to adapt to mobile-savvy shoppers and significantly improve customer service and experience, rather than just sell “stuff”.


READ MORE: Debenhams chairman warns retailers against just selling “stuff


“The next generation is behaving differently, spending differently and interacting differently”, he said.

“To them it is experience, not stuff that matters.”

The retailer is expected to also review its Designers by Debenhams brands, which includes RJR by John Rocha, J by Jasper Conran and Star by Julien McDonald.

In December, it cut Betty Jackson from its range and downsized the Jeff Banks collection.

City analysts do not expect Bucher to announce any store closures as part of his plans.

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