Debenhams considers Ipswich store future

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  • #3644 Score: 0
    Profile photo of News Robot
    News Robot
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    Debenhams unveils turnaround strategy

    Department store group Debenhams has announced a turnaround strategy aimed at boosting its appeal as a “destination” shop and improving its online service.

    The plan means up to 10 of its 176 UK stores may be closed over the next five years.

    A central distribution warehouse and about 10 smaller warehouses could also be shut.

    Meanwhile the group said its half-year pre-tax profits fell by 6.4% to £88m.

    Debenhams shares were down by nearly 5% following the announcement.

    The chief executive Sergio Bucher, who joined the company last October, said its customers were changing the way they shopped and therefore Debenhams was also changing.

    “We will be a destination for social shopping, with mobile the unifying platform for interacting with our customers,” said Mr Bucher, who was appointed with a view to shaking up the business.

    Debenhams said that leisure activities accounted for an increasing share of consumer spending and that the “leisure experience is an important part of shopping”, while “mobile interaction” was growing fast.

    Feel free to comment on IPSWI.

    #3648 Score: 0
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    Dan
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    Ipswich hasn’t been specifically selected but has a good chance of being featured in the 10 stores they want to close in the next 5 years…

    • IBC rebuilding Crown Car Park to a smaller size than it was (doesn’t show much confidence) and doing so over the festive period which is likely to affect their sales which can be a factor moving forward… they will look for the least profitable stores to axe
    • Ipswich Central BID Levy – this eliminates new competition but is still an added cost to be considered
    • Park & Ride closure – I very much doubt First will still have a running P&R service 18 months after they take over from Ipswich Buses
    • Lack of road infrastructure improvements
    • Flagship Debenhams store at the Arc in Bury St Edmunds (with good parking and Suffolk Labour pushing for a Bury St Eds Park & Ride – they will be aware of Ipswich people travelling to other towns and cities to shop)

    I think we will be safe… but anything can happen. Debenhams withdrawal could lose us M&S (who have announced similar store closures – they might consider an out-of-the-town store) and Primark (despite expanding into the unit next door they now have a store in Colchester.)

    #3656 Score: 0
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    Mart
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    One of the few shops I visit, it would be a massive blow to the town centre if it closed. Absolutely massive…

    However you can’t compare Ipswich Debenhams with Bury, from my experience Bury always appears behind Ipswich in size and range of goods sold. Always disappointed with Bury store when I go there..

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3657 Score: 0
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    Dan
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    We have lost Woolworths, BHS, GAP, Next and lets not be snobbish… QD!

    We still have some big names in this clone town but the vital trio (M&S, Debenhams and Primark) are not guaranteed to remain. Both M&S and now Debenhams have warned about closing stores. I am still waiting Argos to withdraw from the town, they seem to hold on in their Carr Street store without much investment. M&S could rely on the Martlesham store.

    It would be quite amazing for Ipswich Central to suffer with a 80% vacant town centre, it would prove myself (and many others) correct but would be terminal for the town centre.

    It doesn’t help when Ipswich Borough Council refuses to get a decent enough size car park to support the town, museums and leisure facilities.

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