Retail Week looks ahead to the next seven days, with a preliminary update from Debenhams on the agenda.


The department store chain will report its preliminary results on Thursday, October 26. Debenhams is in the midst of a major transformation programme put in place by chief executive Sergio Bucher, who joined the retailer last year.

Bucher’s grand plan is built around three business areas: fashion and home, beauty and beauty services, and food and events in order to “support the delivery”.

The ‘Debenhams Redesigned’ strategy centres around three aims – ‘destination, digital and different’ – as well as delivering efficiencies to simplify business operations, cutting 10% of stock options and looking to close stores and warehouses.

The retailer has entered a consultation period on the closure of one central distribution centre and 10 regional warehouses to drive efficiencies and is reviewing the closure of 10 stores over the next five years.

Bucher is under pressure to produce results with his new strategy as the department store sector suffers amid a tough retail market.

Recent moves have included the acquisition of a stake in beauty services provider Blow and opening a new store in Stevenage, which he views as the first iteration of a new-look store estate.

At its March interims, the department store retailer reported a 6.4% drop in pre-tax profits in the 26 weeks to March 24 to £87.8m, while group EBITDA declined 2.5% to £149.1m.