Debenhams grew sales by 8.9% in the 42 weeks to June 19 compared with the same period in 2009 – but by just 1.1% when Danish department store chain Magasin du Nord is excluded.
Like-for-like sales fell 0.4% as a result of the retailer’s successful strategy of improving gross margins by increasing space allocated to own-bought ranges and a focus on tight stock control and markdown management.
The multi-channel business put in an especially strong performance, with sales for the 42 week period up 90% compared with the previous year. In store ordering, collect-from-store and international delivery all proved popular.
Debenhams said that Magasin du Nord – which it acquired during the first half of the current financial year – performed in line with expectations, with good customer reaction to the introduction of own-bought ranges into the stores.
One new department store opened during the period, in Carmarthen, taking the current portfolio to 146 department stores, 13 Desire stores and six Magasin stores. One further department store is scheduled to open before the end of the financial year in Bury, Greater Manchester this month.
In addition, six international franchise stores have opened in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Malaysia, Malta, Slovakia and the UAE during the second half with a further two expected before year-end.