Debenhams invests £25 million in London flagship refurbishment
Work has begun on a renovation programme that will see every department overhauled during the next year as well as the addition of an extra trading floor and three new cafes and restaurants. Debenhams will also transform the exterior of the store with an eye-catching ‘Kinetic Façade’ that will move in response to the wind.
Richard Cristofoli, Debenhams’ marketing director, said: "Our vision is to create a branded environment that redefines Debenhams in the West End and beyond, representing a vibrant and relevant concept for the future.
“Once completed, Oxford Street will be a true flagship, setting the standard in the UK as well as becoming a symbol for our international expansion. It will be the benchmark for a department store experience that is enticing, inspiring and celebrates what makes us unique."
The store will remain open to customers during the year long programme.
One of the biggest priorities for Debenhams will be to flood the 55-year-old building with light. Shop fronts and entrances will be opened up and a new 25-metre skylight in the atrium will let natural light into the building from above.
Cristofoli added: "In addition to the internal changes, the new store front will make Debenhams a retail beacon on Oxford Street. The entire building will be covered in thousands of suspended aluminium panels that will move and reflect light to create a fluid effect."
The refurbishment will include the transformation of the cosmetics department into Debenhams’ biggest ever Beauty Hall. As well as a new aesthetic, the trading space will include a new self service area where exclusive brands such as Ck One Colour and Cargo will be offered.
The store’s Designer Hall will be rebranded while menswear, previously on the lower ground floor, will be moved to the first floor and will feature a new designer collection from Savile Row’s Patrick Grant. The basement will house Debenhams’ largest lingerie and footwear department to date.
The store modification runs alongside the relocation of the Debenhams’ head office staff from three buildings directly behind the store, to a new office in Regent’s Park. The executive offices, which were housed above the Oxford Street store, are in the process of moving, adding 20,000 square feet of selling space and the expansion of operational areas.
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