Online success prompts Debenhams expansion

High-street retailer Debenhams is opening 11 new stores and creating 4,000 jobs in the next four years, bringing its total number of outlets in the UK to 100.

LONDON (Brand Republic) - High-street retailer Debenhams is opening 11 new stores and creating 4,000 jobs in the next four years, bringing its total number of outlets in the UK to 100.

Debenhams chairman Peter Jarvis said its expansion plans came from the strength of the Debenhams Direct home-shopping catalogue and internet sales.

He wants to double distribution of the catalogue to 300,000 this autumn, and claimed internet sales will top £5m in its first full year of trading.

Debenhams, the third largest UK department store by sales after Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, said like-for-like sales were up 3.3% in the 20 weeks to July 15, with total sales up 3.9%.

Jarvis said a stronger performance reflected the company’s strategy to reduce its weighting in clothing, to concentrate on appliances and non-clothing items. He said he was confident the company would “achieve robust levels of growth”.

Debenhams is also opening four stores in Eastern Europe over the next two years, as well as a fifth store in Qatar in the middle east.



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