Debenhams (DEB) is a leading internationalmulti-channel brand with a proud British heritage, trading from 250 departmentstores across 27 countries, and available online in more than 60 countries. Thecore activity of the company is the sale of electrical appliances, household,food, clothing, accessories, toys & gifts etc. Debenhams’ strategy is to deliver a compellingcustomer proposition with growth across multiple channels, focusing on improvingreturns from their UK stores and expanding internationally.
Debenhams has continuedtheir modernisation programme, upgradingbrand presentation and service offers. Fifty of their stores have been modernised in the past five years and theyhave been increasing the choice of brands and services to meet the customers’demand. Also, they are taking a more focused and coherent approach tointernational markets, identifying the markets they wish to enter and expandin, and which of their business models – franchise, wholesale, multi-channel oronline only–works best for that market. The International Division is mirroringthe UK structure to support a fully integrated multi-channel approach.International accounted for 25% of their operating profit in 2016 and hasstrong growth opportunities.
Debenhams is part way through a multi-yearinvestment programme to establish an infrastructure designed to supportinternational multi-channel growth. Their infrastructure investment, whichhas supported the launch of a new international web platform in 2016,offering local payment and local language capabilities, marks an important stepforward in supporting the international multi-channelgrowth opportunity. In response to more uncertain trading conditions inthe UK in the second half of 2016, Debenhams has focused on managing stock andmargins and generating cash. Their capital-spending programme, which includes athree-year systems investment of £130m, is expected to be comfortably fundedwithin existing resources.