Debenhams exits Australia, will keep online presence
today Jun 3, 2019
Debenhams is quietly withdrawing from physical retail in Australia with its only store in the country set to close early in 2020 as it also starts its UK closure programme. The company will continue to sell online in Australia.
The Melbourne store had opened in late 2017 with much fanfare and was run by Pepkor. At the time it said it expected to take sales of around A$20 million a year from the dominant players David Jones and Myer.
It planned to do that by shaking up the affordable designer label segment that occupies a significant space in the Australian fashion retail market.
The store was in an area that saw foot traffic of around 17,000 people a day, but at less than 4,000 sq m, it was half the size of Debenhams stores on average and much smaller than some Myer and David Jones flagships.
As mentioned, the company plans to stay available online and even to expand its digital presence, Retail Week reported.
Not that the company’s woes in the UK market have dampened its international ambitions altogether as it’s planning to open a store in the United Arab Emirates, as well as one in Qatar and another in Oman over the next year.
But its key focus remains its UK turnaround with 22 stores to close early next year and another 30 on the chopping block after that.
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