Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°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

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.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

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

    pandy

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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

Chris Morgan, managing director of Mobile Mini UK, with Sarah Jones, manager at Mr Box.
Photo: Keith Mindham

Container storage company Mr Box, based at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, has been purchased for an undisclosed sum by the UK arm of Mobile Mini, which has its global headquarters in Arizona.

Dr Dan Poulter MP turns on Christmas lights in Framlingham.

Businesses in a Suffolk town are being urged to decorate their windows with a “magical look for the whole season”.

Small Business Minister Margot James, left, with Angela Berry, owner of The Lampshade Company, at the Small Business Saturday reception at 10 Downing Street.

Small businesses from Suffolk and north Essex were among 100 from across the UK invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street ahead of last week’s Small Business Saturday event.

From left, Sophie Earland, Amanda Cornwell, Claire Speakman and Nina Simmons of Scrutton Bland.

East Anglia-based financial services provider Scrutton Bland has made four new appointments to its insurance department as part of its plan for continued growth of the firm.

The second DevelopHER Awards were held in Ipswich. Pictured is Angela Prichard, winner of the Eye for Design Award. Picture: Tim Stephenson Photography.

The best and brightest have been recognised at an awards ceremony to promote the role of women in East Anglia’s tech sector.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24