The new CEO of Debenhams Sergio Bucher, who joined the business last October, has revealed plans to transform the retailer into a “destination for social shopping”, improve online services and potentially close up to 10 of its 176 UK stores.
It comes as the retailer revealed its half-year pre-tax profits fell by 6.4% to £88m, though group gross transaction value was up 2.9% to £1,676.5m with the UK like-for-like figure up 0.5%.
A central distribution warehouse and 10 smaller warehouses are also on the chopping block as part of the new strategy, which is being coined as “Debenhams Redesigned.” As part of the strategy, bosses have said they want to “deliver growth by becoming a 'Destinaion, Digital and Different' and drive efficiency by simplifying and focusing our business.”
Mr Bucher explained: “Our customers are changing the way they shop and we are changing too. Shopping with Debenhams should be effortless, reliable and fun whichever channel our customers use. We will be a destination for "Social Shopping" with mobile the unifying platform for interacting with our customers.
“If we deliver differentiated and distinctive brands, services and experiences both online and in stores, our customers will visit us more frequently and, having simplified our operations to make us more efficient, we will be able to serve them better and make better use of our resources.
"I'd like to thank the executive team and all our colleagues, who made sure that we were able to deliver a great experience for our customers over the peak trading period, and who are now working hard to implement our new strategy. This will set Debenhams on course for a successful and profitable future."