Debenhams unveils new strategy
Debenhams has revealed that it may consider closing up to ten of its 176 stores as it unveiled a new strategy in which it will aim to become more of a destination for shoppers and one that is different from its rivals. It will also focus on becoming more digitally driven.
In a statement, the department store chain said it will look to become a destination for “social shopping” by offering new products, services and experiences. In addition, it will aim to broaden its reach both in the UK and overseas by becoming a more digital driven business with mobile unifying channels and interaction with customers.
It will also reinvent its Designers@Debenhams offering to make the proposition more relevant to shoppers.
Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher, who joined the business late last year, said: “Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too. Shopping with Debenhams should be effortless, reliable and fun whichever channel our customers use.
“We will be a destination for “social shopping” with mobile the unifying platform for interacting with our customers.
“If we deliver differentiated and distinctive brands, services and experiences both online and in stores, our customers will visit us more frequently and, having simplified our operations to make us more efficient, we will be able to serve them better and make better use of our resources.”
The news comes as Debenhams also announced a 6.4% drop in group pre-tax profit to £87.8 million in the six months to 4 March, which was in line with expectations. Group EBITDA was down 2.5% to £149.1 million in the period.
Group gross transaction value rose by 2.9% to £1.68 billion while UK like-for-like sales edged up 0.5%. The retailer said the increase was a reflection of growing strength in its non-clothing categories and strong online momentum.
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