Debenhams launches Watford store with new beauty hall

Debenhams has opened the doors to its new 86,000sq ft store in Intu Watford today featuring the UK’s first redesigned beauty hall.

The new department store, will be officially opened by Debenhams designer Julien Macdonald OBE, was reportedly designed around its successful pilot store in Stevenage with a reduced product offering, free personal shopping service and flexible fixturing grouped by fashion genre.

In a UK first for Debenhams the store will launch with a beauty hall, occupying 15 per cent of the stores space and featuring a hair lab, mini bar and Beauty Club house alongside some of the UK’s biggest beauty brands.

“Our new Watford store reflects the changes that we are implementing as part of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy,” chief executive Sergio Bucher said.

“Product enhancements sit alongside a store design that is easier to navigate and cheaper to operate.

“With our Beauty Hall of the Future, we are responding to the way that customers say that they want to shop as well as offering a compelling food offer and choice of beauty treatments in order to offer a destination where shopping can be enjoyed with friends and family.”

This follows news earlier this month that Debenhams had drafted in KPMG to help draft emergency plans to rebalance its finances.

Debenhams said it expected full-year pre-tax profits of around £33 million before exceptional items, which is within the current market range of £31 million to £36.5 million.

Underlying earnings are forecast to come in at £157 million, with net debt of approximately £320 million.

David Fischel, intu chief executive, says: “We are pleased to welcome Debenhams to intu Watford’s multi-million-pound extension where it will capitalise on the strength of this new space and the benefits it will bring retailers and customers alike.”

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