Debenhams to look overseas for growth
Debenhams is considering acquiring more chains like Magasin du Nord, in order to reduce its dependence on the ailing UK economy, Finance Director Chris Woodhouse said.
Woodhouse also believes there are opportunities to expand through the retailer’s international franchise business. Using this model, he said, most of the property and investment risk is taken on by local partners while Debenhams provides marketing and inventory. Four new Debenhams-branded outlets are due to open in the spring in Slovakia, Egypt, Malta and Azerbaijan.
Touching on plans for Magasin Du Nord, Woodhouse said Debenhams plans to introduce designer ranges such as John Rocha to the Danish chain as well as improving inventory purchasing to increase profitability. Debenhams’ success with its international franchise model “proves there is a market for private label outside the UK”. He added: “Magasin du Nord is a really strong brand. We intend to leverage the brand equity of the company. With our supply chain and sourcing skills, we believe that we can substantially improve margins and profitability.”
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