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Debenhams to spend £25mn on refurbishing flagship store
Jun '13
Debenhams announced a £25million pound refurbishment of its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street – the likes of which has never been seen before in the retailer’s 200-year history.

With an additional trading floor, shoppers can look forward to a towering seven floors of retail space with every inch of the in-store journey re-designed to represent the very best that Debenhams has to offer.

Work has begun on the comprehensive renovation programme that will see every department overhauled, including its biggest ever Beauty hall, more Designer departments than ever before across three floors of fashion, three new cafes and restaurants and a new destination for women – the retailer’s biggest ever shoe hall and lingerie department.

The extensive work will culminate with the creation of an entirely new and eye-catching exterior for the department store.

The design showcases a new approach to public art by incorporating it within the fabric of the building itself. The ‘Kinetic Façade’ is a first for the UK and will move in response to the wind.

The undertaking is the biggest single re-development Oxford Street has ever seen. It promises to revolutionise the look of the Bond Street section of the street and reinforce the West End’s position as an international shopping destination.

Richard Cristofoli, Debenhams’ Marketing Director, says: “Our vision is to create a branded environment that redefines Debenhams in the West End and beyond, representing a vibrant and relevant concept for the future.

“Once completed, Oxford Street will be a true flagship, setting the standard in the UK as well as becoming a symbol for our international expansion.

“It will be the benchmark for a department store experience that is enticing, inspiring and celebrates what makes us unique.”

The store will not be closing to customers during the year long programme.

One of the priorities of project will be to flood the 55-year-old building with light. Shop fronts and entrances will therefore be opened up completely and a new 25-metre skylight in the atrium will let natural light into the building from above.

Continues Richard Cristofoli, “In addition to the internal changes, the new store front will make Debenhams a retail beacon on Oxford Street. The entire building will be covered in thousands of suspended aluminium panels that will move and reflect light to create a fluid effect.”

One of the highlights of the refurbishment will be the complete makeover of the cosmetics department, which will re-launch as Debenhams’ biggest ever Beauty Hall. As well as a new aesthetic, customers will be treated to new brands such as Philosophy and Tom Ford fragrance as well as a new self service area where exclusive brands such as Ck One Colour and Cargo will be available.

Housing exclusive collections from the fashion world’s biggest names in one place, a new Designer Hall will be a celebration of Debenhams’ position as the pioneer of designer clothing at high street prices.

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