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Debenhams to enter Australia and Vietnam
24
Oct '15
Debenhams, the British multichannel department retailer, is set to expand its footprints by launching in the Australian and Vietnamese markets in 2016. In a press release it said, the move comes on the back of agreements with local market partners, Pepkor in Australia (part of the global retail giant, Steinhoff Group) and VinDS, part of Vingroup, one of Vietnam's largest private companies.

A phased approach to expansion into Australia will see Debenhams enter the Southern hemisphere for the first time. A dedicated Debenhams-led Australian e-commerce site will launch prior to Christmas 2015. The site will offer product tailored to the market, local currency payment and will be the retailer's first region-specific site.

Debenhams' own brand womenswear, womens' accessories and menswear product will be distributed and retailed within selected, Pepkor-owned, Harris Scarfe stores from October 2016. Future plans include the launch of Debenhams branded franchise stores offering the full product range including fashion, cosmetics and home.

In Vietnam, Vingroup will distribute products in their Fashion Megastore department store chain from early 2016 with selected womenswear and menswear brands sold in 15 stores across the country by the end of the year.

“International expansion is a key strategic priority for us and we are delighted to be working with Pepkor in Australia with a new multi-channel business model, selling our brands online, in Harris Scarfe stores and opening Debenhams stores longer term.

“Selling our own brands outside of Debenhams offers a new leg of growth for the business. Our distribution agreement with Vingroup in Vietnam will introduce our brands to this exciting market for the first time", Debenhams Chief Executive Michael Sharp said.

Jason Murray, Managing Director of Pepkor South East Asia, said, “We are delighted to have secured this partnership with Debenhams. The wholesale arrangement will augment our efforts to revitalise and grow the Harris Scarfe business, while franchise stores will complement our HS stores and add to our back office scale. These stores will be contemporary, smaller scale flagships which we believe will be Australia's first genuine modern department stores.”

Munish Rishi, CEO of VINDS (Consumer lifestyle arm of Vingroup) said, “We are pleased to announce our agreement to distribute Debenhams brands. We believe the partnership will bring significant value to our Fashion Megastore proposition and prove an attractive offer for Vietnamese consumers looking for fashionable, quality and affordable products. We plan to bring best of Debenhams' brands to the market as key differentiator for our Fashion Megastore's with 8 additional stores opening in next 2 months and a plan to launch 30 stores over next 3 years.”

Debenhams currently has 248 stores across 28 countries. It plans to grow its international business to around 30 per cent of the total, through franchise expansion, international online growth and distributing owned brands beyond Debenhams franchise markets. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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