Thursday 24 August 2017

Debenhams revamp to include restaurants, beauty services

Helena Christensen models a Janet Reger nude swimsuit as part of the Debenhams Fashion by Designers range
Helena Christensen models a Janet Reger nude swimsuit as part of the Debenhams Fashion by Designers range
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

An overhaul of the Debenhams retail chain due to be unveiled on Thursday could include a review of its long-standing Designers by Debenhams brands, which include RJR by John Rocha, J by Jasper Conran and Star by Julien Macdonald, according to analysts - who say that they no longer carry the same weight with shoppers.

The UK retailer's Irish arm recorded pre-tax profits of €19.6m last year, following a pre-tax loss of €5.8m in 2015 and after emerging from examinership.

The company operates 11 department stores in Ireland - mostly acquired from Roches Stores in 2006 - and has around 1,500 staff here.

Debenhams' newly installed chief executive Sergio Bucher, who joined from Amazon's fashion arm in October, is due to release financial results for the group on Thursday, and is also expected to announce the wider overhaul.

The plans are tipped to include significant investment in in-store destinations, including restaurants and beauty services, to reflect mounting evidence consumers are giving more of their free time and money to eating out, holidays and experiences than traditional shopping.

More of the clothes and goods that are bought are being purchased online.

Debenhams is expected to record a 3pc lift in half-year sales to £1.6bn (€1.89bn) but a 6pc slip in half-year profits to £88.2m (€104m) as the department store chain struggles to wean itself off big sales. Over Easter, Debenhams offered 30pc off furniture and as much as 70pc off women's occasionwear to boost sales.

Irish Independent

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