One of the largest retailers in the world, operating 243 stores across 28 countries, will be opening in Australia next year broadening the world of fashion available to Melbourne shoppers (and by virtue, us because we spend so much time there).
Mr Graham Dean, MD Pepkor South East Asia Department Stores Division (who also own Harris Scarfe and Best & Less), today announced the opening of Australia’s first iconic British Department Store, Debenhams, in Melbourne’s prestigious St Collins Lane precinct. Mr Dean said, “This partnership heralds one of the most exciting Department Store stories in the nation, and we look forward to opening the first Debenhams Australia store in Melbourne in September 2017”.
“Debenhams is one of the world’s most credible Department Store brands, backed by their famous programme in support of exclusive Designer Label fashion. In bringing Debenhams to Australia, we will distill the best of Debenhams’ expertise into a Designer Department Store, whose range is especially curated to suit the Melbourne CBD shopper’.
Pepkor South East Asia’s plans for the Collins Street site include category-leading digital initiatives. “We plan to bring to life the best in-store customer experience for the digital age. Shopping at Debenhams St Collins Lane will be a unique, immersive experience, where every customer can engage across a broad platform of instore and online touchpoints”, Mr Dean said.
“This will be a Designer Department Store for the Digital Age.”
Debenhams International director David Smith said the Department Store would provide Melbourne shoppers with an exclusive, curated selection of the best that Debenhams has on offer.
“International expansion is a strategic priority for Debenhams and we are delighted to be working with Pepkor on entering the Australian market,” he said.
“We are excited to be opening our first store in Melbourne in the St Collins Lane development, and are confident that our offer of exciting products and brands, combined with a world class shopping experience, will be well received by the Australian public.”
For over 20 years, Designers at Debenhams have offered a range of designer brands, including Jasper Conran, Henry Holland, Jenny Packham, Matthew Williamson and Julien MacDonald.
Debenhams designer Julien MacDonald said “I am delighted that Debenhams is to open its first store in Melbourne and I am thrilled that my Designer at Debenhams range, Star will be available to all of our fabulous friends Down Under. I love Australia and Australia loves fashion” he said.
Construction will begin in early 2017, with Mr Graham Dean adding “the landmark leasing arrangement will see construction of 3,600sqm in retail space over two levels. Inevitably, construction will generate local jobs here in Melbourne, followed by an injection into retail employment.”
Additional Debenhams sites have not been confirmed, with Mr Dean adding that research into national sites and locations has been ongoing since the partnership was announced late last year.
“We are actively engaged in negotiations to open additional sites and will work strategically to identify the best location and right market.”
To find out more about Debenhams, visit their Australian website.