Debenhams has made its debut in Australia with the opening of a new store in the heart of Melbourne.
The small-format shop – located within the St Collins Lane shopping centre on Collins Street – is the first site operated with Debenhams’ franchise partner Pepkor, which is part of the Steinhoff retail company.
Spanning 38,750sq ft across two floors, the store is the first of its kind for Debenhams.
Its format is also different to the traditional department store format in Australia, whereby brands like David Jones and Myer have a duopoly on the sector.
Debenhams Melbourne stocks fashion from its collaborations with UK designers such as Jasper Conran, Julien Macdonald, Preen, Savannah Miller, Matthew Williamson and Jenny Packham.
It also offers in-store services like a style suite, beauty rooms and a café.
“More than 20 million shoppers visit our 175 UK and Republic of Ireland stores each year and this includes a huge number of Australian consumers,” Debenhams international managing director David Smith said.
“Shoppers in Australia spend more than $5.1 billion (£2.97 billion) on fashion and $8 billion (£4.67 billion) on beauty products a year – add that to the fact that we know that our offering resonates and the next logical step for the business was to open a store in Australia.”
The new store in Melbourne joins Debenhams’ portfolio of 243 stores across 28 countries.