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Debenhams designer sales boosted by credit crunch


Debenhams, the leading UK clothing retailer, has revealed that its designer sales have been boosted by the credit crunch thanks to a new type of shopper; the recessionista.

Still keen to feed their fashion addiction, many shoppers are turning to designer equivalents according to Debenhams, that deliver quality, durability and design but with a ’chic enomic’ price tag similar to ones offered exclusively at the 219 year old department store.

The retailer reported double digit sales growth across its Designer at Debenhams offer in the run up to Christmas, as well as seeing sales and profits increase and market share gains in all major clothing categories, while reducing its debt.

With purse strings ever tightening, many are seeing buying a handbag with a price tag that looks like a phone number as ’so last season’ heralding the birth of a new consumer - the ’recessionista’.

The unusual trend has seen some of Britain’s best loved designer names including Jasper Conran, Ted Baker, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald and Jane Packer all contributing to market share gains and the overall performance of Debenham’s business.

“The birth of the recessionista is evidence that more and more customers are looking for good value, great design and clothing that’s built to last. Something that our trading figures released today back up and it’s also something that we are committed to continuing to deliver with our Spring/Summer 09 collections,” said Michael Sharp, Debenham’s deputy chief executive.

As a result, Debenhams has taken the unusual step of unveiling its exclusive Designer at Debenhams Spring/Summer ’09 ranges, for the first time before they go into stores.

Spring/Summer ’09 at Debenhams draws the latest influences from catwalks around the globe with a strong focus on wearability all with famous name designer influences but with high street price tags.

The designers at Debenhams identified several key trends for men and women that are predicted to be popular looks during Spring/Summer ’09. The trends for women include ’Libertine’, a look epitomised by the likes of Peaches Geldof and Alexa Chung, which offers a casually cool vibe, combining distressed denims and a selection of statement belts. The ’Glamazon’ trend, popularised by Beyonce Knowles and Heidi Klum, offers a laid-back yet glamorous take on hippy chic combined with jet set glam for Spring/Summer ’09. The ’Exotica’ look, which fashion aficienados will recognise as a look sported by Jennifer Lopez and Eva Mendes is also set to be popular, providing relaxed casual pieces in the form of patterned shirts, loose kaftan style dresses and cropped trouser suits.

Among the trends predicted to be popular for men during the year’s Spring/Summer seasons is ’Super Simple’, offering classic, yet modern, styling, bringing to mind the look of Daniel Craig. Pre-1930s decadence can be found with ’Retro Resort’, which utilises superfine wool, cotton and linen and splashes of colour. For younger men, the ’Urban Lad’ look will also be available, taking key fashion influences from military and work wear. ’Geek Chic’ is also set to be a popular trend during this year’s Spring/Summer seasons, combining the colour clash of the ’70s with a modern ’50s style.

About Debenhams:
Debenhams is a leading department stores group, and has a strong presence in key product categories including women’s wear, men’s wear, home wares, health and beauty, accessories, lingerie and children’s wear.

Debenhams has 139 stores including seven Desire by Debenhams stores, across the UK and Ireland with 10.1 million square feet of trading space and around 21,500 employees.

Further information:
Ed Watson
Debenhams Press Office
33 Wigmore Street
0207 529 0536


 Ted Baker
 Matthew Williamson
 Jane Packer

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