Dubbed Desire by Debenhams, the store measures 13,000 sq ft (1,205 sq m) over two floors and a mezzanine. It is about five times smaller than Debenhams' usual footprint and the aim is to make inroads into smaller towns. The offer is almost wholly branded, making use of Designers at Debenhams.
Debenhams regional sales director Ellen Donovan said that by selling just womenswear, rather than an edited version of all departments normally on offer, the retailer has been able to display about 90 per cent of the usual women's range for a larger store.
The display equipment is uniform throughout, a factor that should make rolling out the format more straightforward should the trial prove successful. Debenhams will open another Desire pilot store later this year in South Shields in Tyne & Wear.