max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Retail: Debenhams to ‘refocus’ its promotional strategy after 24% fall in first-half profits

09:07 15 April 2014

Debenhams is in discussions to introduce a number of "well-known" brands into its shops as it aims to bounce back from poor trading in the key Christmas period.

Debenhams is in discussions to introduce a number of "well-known" brands into its shops as it aims to bounce back from poor trading in the key Christmas period.

Debenhams today pledged to refocus its promotional strategy after a disastrous Christmas trading performance led to a sharp fall in half-year profits.


The department store chain, which has 158 outlets in the UK, will also look to speed up delivery times in its online operation and said it is in discussions to introduce a number of “well-known” brands into its shops.

The moves, outlined by chief executive Michael Sharp, follow a “challenging” period in which profits fell 24.5% to £85.2million in the 26 weeks to March 1.

Debenhams alerted the City to a slide in profits on New Year’s Eve after weak trading in September and October and poor sales in clothing was compounded by a difficult festive period as rivals engaged in a price war.

The company said today: “Promotions are a traditional strength of Debenhams but in the run-up to Christmas their impact was diluted by the highly promotional trading environment in the UK.

“We are therefore refocusing our promotional strategy which will see more clearly defined promotional periods in the trading calendar with fewer days on promotion.”

Debenhams said it also trailed behind its rivals in terms of convenience because it lacked a competitive range of premium delivery options.

It has pledged to improve in this area in time for Christmas, with next-day click and collect and a 10pm cut-off for next-day delivery. This has required a step-up in spending on automation in its distribution centres.

The company said analysis of all of its shops found that 10% of its UK store space was currently under-performing.

It said: “We continue to work on a number of routes to improve sales densities. These include adding more choice of products, brands and services.

“We are currently in discussions with a number of well-known brands, some of which are expected to be trialled over the next six months.”


1 comment

  • Like all big retailers they have got into the trap of giving big discounts at times though out the year so people wait till then to buy, prices are high before the so called event ,sale,or weekend specials,then go to what you would expect to pay for item, Sainsburys is the same on clothes every bank holiday 20% off ,so if I want a shirt or something else I wait till then.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

From left, Michael Francis, store manager, Colchester, Robert Smith, dealer principle, Colchester and Norwich, and  Emmanuel Greffier, store manager, Norwich with the Bang & Olufsen UK Partner of the Year trophy.

The team at the Bang & Olufsen store in Colchester is celebrating after beating off competition from 60 other dealerships to be named as the audio equipment firm’s UK Partner of the Year.

B&Q in Anglia Retail Park will close by 2017.

Home improvement giant B&Q is set to close one of its biggest Suffolk stores - at Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich, it can be revealed.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Kelly-Anne Byres of Poppy Nursing and Care Services.
Picture: Stephen Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Five businesses and organisations from Suffolk and north Essex have been named among the finalists in the 2015 East of England Business Champions awards.

Ipswich Building Society general sales manager Jo Leah and her friend Libby Smith, also from Ipswich,preparing for their charity challenge involving a 100km trip down the Zambezi River.

A executive from Ipswich Building Society will today be starting a challenge to travel 100km along Africa’s Zambezi River in aid of a local charity.


Fairline testing facility at Ipswich.

The new owner of Fairline Boats has expressed confidence in the business, despite laying off more than 100 of its production staff.

Mark and Tessa Riley, of Riley and Riley Jewellers in Ipswich, were runners-up in the Ipswich Independents business competition.

The finalists in the Ipswich Independents Award 2015 have been announced.

The Saints area in Ipswich town centre has been ranked as one of the best high streets in Britain as part of the Great British High Street Awards 2015.

Shopkeepers say the prestigious recognition means Ipswich can now rival Bury St Edmunds and Woodbridge as top shopping destinations.

Investigatory work ahead of the East Anglia ONE wind farm continues on the River Deben

Investigatory drilling work is continuing on the River Deben ahead of the construction of the East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

Alex Fairfull, managing director of Suffolk Installers in Needham Market.

More than 300 jobs in Suffolk and north Essex are at risk due to a proposed cut in Government support for solar energy, an industry organisation has claimed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages