Debenhams strengthens workforce as it prepares for busy Christmas
today Nov 21, 2019
Debenhams is determined to avoid repeating last year’s disappointing Christmas results by hiring thousands of additional workers in a bid to entice shoppers to its stores.
The company said 7,000 additional store staff have been hired across the retailer’s 165 UK stores, with many coming from the hospitality sector to ensure visitors receive the best customer service possible.
Volunteers from the company’s central functions will also provide support, with 500 people from the London headquarters going out to their local stores to help over the peak trading period.
All new colleagues have been given special training, and will be on hand to advise customers on the sales floor, in its beauty halls, serve in the restaurant and help behind the scenes in stock management.
The increased staff numbers will be particularly useful in helping customers navigate Debenhams’ huge range of 3-for-2 offers - the biggest range in UK retail. It’s expected this will also result in shorter checkout queues, a well-known pain point for busy shoppers.
Darren Kay, regional manager for Debenhams said 109 new employees will join the Oxford Street store alone.
Improving the in-store customer experience is key as many UK shoppers indicate busy shops, long queues and a lack of guidance have influenced their move towards online shopping.
Last year, Debenhams was forced to issue a profit warning in January due to poor sales over the festive period. UK like-for-like sales fell 2.6% in the 17 weeks to 30 December, and were down 1.8% overall.
The 7,000 new recruits will start in time for Debenhams’ big Black Friday promotion on 29 November.
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