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Multichannel continues to grow at Debenhams

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Sales at Debenhams’ multichannel business rose by 88.4% in its latest financial year, the department store group said today.

It said the sales spurt at Debenhams Direct followed a period of focusing on the key strategic aim of integrating the in-store and online sales channels. “Our aim,” it said in a full-year trading update, “is to provide the flexibility for customers to shop in the most convenient way for each purchase.”

The figures came as the company gave an update to markets for the year to August 28 2010.

Across the group, it said, gross transactions for the year rose in value by 9.6%. However like-for-like sales were hit in the range of 1.5% as the company works towards a strategy of increasing the proportion of own-bought stock in order to improve gross margins.

Headline profits before tax and exceptional items were expected to be higher than previously thought, at about £150m, 20% above the previous year.

Rob Templeman, Debenhams chief executive, said: “Our profit performance has been pleasing but we believe it is correct to remain cautious about the level of consumer confidence going forward. There is however much to be positive about in our business, including the benefits of higher own bought sales, the acquisition of Magasin (du Nord), the growing multichannel business and the ongoing store refurbishment programme.”

Final results for the year will be announced on October 21.

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