Debenhams confirms first Aussie location
The British household name will open in September 2017 and include several digital initiatives.
The UK department store trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries, and in the UK has a top three market position in womenswear and menswear and a top 10 share in childrenswear. It holds the number two market position in premium health and beauty.
“Debenhams is one of the world’s most credible department store brands, backed by their famous programme in support of exclusive designer label fashion,” said Graham Dean, MD Pepkor South East Asia Department Stores Division.
“In bringing Debenhams to Australia, we will distil the best of Debenhams’ expertise into a designer department store, whose range is especially curated to suit the Melbourne CBD shopper.”
Pepkor said the Collins Street store will have category-leading digital initiatives, with a broad platform of instore and online touchpoints aimed at providing an immersive experience.
“This will be a designer department store for the digital age,” said Dean.
Construction will begin in early 2017, with Dean adding “the landmark leasing arrangement will see construction of 3600sqm in retail space over two levels. Inevitably, construction will generate local jobs here in Melbourne, followed by an injection into retail employment.”
Additional Debenhams sites have not been confirmed, with Dean asserting that research into national sites and locations has been ongoing since the partnership was announced late last year.
“We are actively engaged in negotiations to open additional sites and will work strategically to identify the best location and right market.”
Debenhams International director David Smith said the store would provide Melbourne shoppers with an exclusive, curated selection of the best that the retailer has on offer.
“International expansion is a strategic priority for Debenhams and we are delighted to be working with Pepkor on entering the Australian market,” he said.
“We are excited to be opening our first store in Melbourne in the St Collins Lane development, and are confident that our offer of exciting products and brands, combined with a world class shopping experience, will be well received by the Australian public.”
Designer brands available over the last 20 years at the department store will be offered including Jasper Conran, Henry Holland, Jenny Packham, Matthew Williamson and Julien MacDonald.
“I am delighted that Debenhams is to open its first store in Melbourne and I am thrilled that my Designer at Debenhams range, Star will be available to all of our fabulous friends down under,” said Julian MacDonald, Debenhams designer. “I love Australia and Australia loves fashion”
Debenhams currently has 243 stores across 28 countries opening its first international store in Kuwait in 1998 followed by further stores across the Middle East including Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and now Abu Dhabi).
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