Debenhams bullish despite economic issues

| March 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
”Debenhams

Department store group Debenhams said like-for-like sales fell 1.5% (excluding VAT) in the 26 weeks to 26 February.

Despite the fall, the no. 2 department store (after John Lewis) said it was well placed to manage the uncertainty surrounding the economy, which is squeezing household incomes due to soaring inflation.

It said it will focus on increasing profit margins rather than sales.

The chain, which operates from 166 stores in Britain, Ireland and Denmark and about 60 franchised outlets in more than 20 countries, said it will continue to invest in new store openings and store refurbishments, as well as growth online and abroad.

However, chief executive Rob Templeman was cautious and said: “Rises in taxation, alongside inflation and the wider economic issues will undoubtedly continue to have a negative impact on consumer disposable income. In the short term we believe retailers are not going to get much help from the macro economy.”

Last week, a survey revealed buyer confidence remains low due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the economy.

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