Debenhams to cut some designer own brands - report
Debenhams is axing or reducing some of its designer ranges under the direction of new CEO Sergio Bucher, according to a UK press report.
Bucher, who joined this year from his role as vice-president of Amazon Fashion Europe, is aiming to shake up the retailer to return it to growth and is also focusing on expansion in buoyant areas such as beauty, gifting, swimwear and food.
He is believed to be discontinuing the Betty Jackson line and also reducing the Jeff Banks offer to shirts and formal men’s suits, the Evening Standard reported. It also said that Debenhams declined to comment on the issue. Bucher is not due to update the market on his strategic plan for Debenhams until next April.
The retailer launched its Designers At Debenhams concept in 1993 and became a pioneer in retailer-designer collaborations. However, in recent years it has handed the spotlight to stores such as H&M and Topshop whose designer and celebrity link-ups have created more of a must-have buzz.
Betty Jackson was one of the early leading lights of the Designers At Debenhams offer and also later played a large part in the launch of M&S’s Autograph collection. Jeff Banks was a retail trailblazer in the 1960s and 70s, made a major impact on the corporate clothing market, co-founded the Warehouse chain and was a presenter for the popular Clothes Show TV programme.
Other veteran designers who create lines for with Debenhams include John Rocha, Jasper Conran, and Ben de Lisi, but no decision on their ranges is believed to have been made yet, the newspaper said. There is also no news on which designers, if any, will replace the outgoing labels.
Last month, less than two weeks after Bucher took the helm, Debenhams reported a 7% drop in pre-tax profits to £105.8m in the 53 weeks to September 3, although they rose 0.5% on an underlying basis. Revenue was flat.
The company said it had seen further weakness in the clothing market during H2 but saw growth in beauty, gifts and accessories.
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