Oct 26, 2017

Debenhams annual profits fall sharply

Department store chain Debenhams reported annual profits down by 44% at £59m amid what it called an "Uncertain" trading environment. Mr Bucher, who took over a year ago, said in the statement: "We are making good progress with implementing our new strategy, Debenhams Redesigned, and are encouraged by the results from our initial trials, as well as the number of exciting new partners who want to work with us." Sales of beauty products, accessories and food and drink helped to offset what was a weak clothing market, Debenhams said. George Salmon, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said that, as a former Amazon executive, Mr Bucher was well qualified to guide Debenhams: "The obvious solution to the problem of declining high street footfall is to steer the ship towards 21st-Century sales methods." He points out that many of the stores have long leases, so Debenhams is tied to physical outlets and has "Little more flexibility than a supertanker just now".

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