Debenhams takes aim at Aussies with dedicated site followed by bricks and mortar

The doors are open to Debenhams' dedicated Australian site

The doors are open to Debenhams’ dedicated Australian site

Australia will become a test bed for the international online expansion of UK retailer Debenhams after it announced a dedicated Australian site for shoppers.

Backed by a significant local marketing campaign, the site will also be used as a research device into the chain’s expansion into bricks and mortar in partnership with Pepkor announced late last year.

Dasha Melyushkina, head of ecommerce for Debenhams in the UK, said that the launch of the site dedicated to Australian shoppers and the supporting marketing campaign was an important moment in the expansion of the brand.

Australian sales already represent 30% of Debenhams international online business and Australian sales have grown 12% over the past financial year.

“We are very excited,” Melyushkina told Mumbrella.

“The reason for launching a localised shop is meeting the customers needs. We are introducing Australian sizing and trying to tailor content on the site for an Australian audience.”

Debenhams will also aim at capitalising on local shopping events such as Boxing Day and Australia Day sales to bring its cycle in line with the Australian calendar.

“We would like to see it grow significantly bigger and we have achievable growth plans,” she said.

The chain will also launch a “designer hub” for the Australian website.

A cross platform campaign running with the tagline ” A match made at Debenhams” will support the new drive.

Melyushkina admitted the success of the site will be used as a template for the retailer’s push into other markets where the brand is already proving popular and will also help inform the expansion into bricks and mortar in Australia.

Last year Harris Scarfe owner Pepkor announced it would be bringing Debenhams to Australia, possibly rebranding Harris Scarfe stores and some speculation it could also invest in properties put on the market by Myer.

Debenhams arrival in Australia sees it beat UK rival Marks & Spencer which has been the subject of extensive speculation it would be opening stores in Australia.

Simon Canning







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