Debenhams promises renewed focus on marketing

Debenhams: Life Made Fabulous campaign by JWT London
Debenhams: Life Made Fabulous campaign by JWT London

Debenhams promised to offer its customers a more joined-up approach to marketing and revealed plans to open a number of new shops, as it reported a 8.6% rise in pre-tax profits to £160.3m in the 53 weeks ending 3 September.

The high-street retailer, like its rivals, has struggled as shoppers rein in their spend because of rising prices.

In its financial results today (20 October), Debenhams reported pre-tax profits of £160.3m over the 53 weeks ending 3 September – an 8.6% rise on the previous year.

Like-for-like sales – which take out new stores – were up 1.2%.

Debenhams said it planned to open 10 stores and revamp a number of existing stores over the next few years.

Chief executive Michael Sharp outlined a new strategy, made up of four pillars, which included a heightened focus on marketing.

The company admitted the retailer had previous been guilty of a disjointed approach to marketing.

A statement said: "In terms of communication, we will be taking a more joined-up approach to marketing, which uses both traditional and new media."

The four-pillar strategy is made up of a focus on UK retail; delivering a compelling customer proposition; increasing availability and choice through multi-channel, and expanding the business internationally.

Debenhams operates 169 stores in Britain, Ireland and Denmark, along with 64 franchised outlets in 25 countries.

Sharp said: "It is right to remain cautious about the strength of consumer confidence over the next 12 months, given the uncertain economic outlook." 

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10

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