British high street retailer Debenhams just attributed its rise in sales and profits, for the first half of the year, to a number of famous names that helped out the brand.
In its results statement for the 26 weeks to February 28, Debenhams credited its “investment in the design and buying capability” for big name designers and models to help boost group like-for-like sales up by 1.3% and profits by 4.3% to £88.9 million.
The launch of casualwear in Principles by Ben de Lisi, fronted by Sophie Dahl, and the roll out of Hammond & Co, with Savile Row tailor, Patrick Grant, helped create “strong performance” for the company, said Debenhams.
Michael Sharp, Chief Executive of Debenhams, said:
“I am pleased with the good progress we have made against the strategic priorities we set out last year. We have improved our multi-channel offer and successfully introduced the premium delivery options that we promised for the important peak period, which met with a positive response from our customers. The continued refocusing of our promotional strategy delivered a strong increase in full price sales, an improvement in value perception and enabled us to end the half with an improved stock position. Overall we delivered a good first half performance despite a difficult clothing season in Autumn and we are on track to achieve full year expectations.
“Looking forward, our customers tell us they are feeling a little more optimistic about the economic outlook, but they remain cautious. Accordingly we are continuing to plan prudently in the near term, while remaining focused on our strategic priorities, and are continuing to invest to ensure that our business is well-positioned to drive sustainable growth in the longer term.”
Debenhams’ announcement pleased the markets as the stock price rose by over 3% in the immediate market open: