Debenhams rebounds in India

UK-based department store retailer Debenhams is all set to create a stronger foothold in India despite the closure of two stores.

In 2007, Debenhams launched its first Indian store in Gurgaon, which was followed by stores in New Delhi and Mumbai, but the latter two were subsequently closed.

Two years on, Debenhams is now on a rebound with a new store opened recently at Phoenix Market City Mall in Mumbai, under the management of local partner Planet Retail.

The new store, spread over 28,000sqft, features menswear, womenswear, innerwear, kidswear, beachwear, accessories and home products offered at prices between Rs 595 and 13,000 (US$12 to US$256). Customers can avail discounts and can earn points through a mobile loyalty program right through their phones.

Another Debenhams store will be opened in an upcoming mall in Bangalore.

Speaking on the expansions, Planet Retail COO Vikas Purohit said: “We will not be reckless in opening stores. There is no point opening stores and later shutting them down. Each store needs to deliver good profit, either within a short-term or in mid-term period. After all, stores are not for having a hoarding value. We also intend to invest around three to four per cent of our annual revenue on CRM and social media marketing.”

Purohit is optimistic the newly opened store and the upcoming expansions will build a strong customer base.

“Even though this mall will take time to have huge footfalls, in future with the mono-rail coming up in Mumbai and almost every international brand opening their first store in Phoenix Market City, this mall within the next eight months will become most sought after.”



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