UK department store chain Debenhams has opened its first store in Australia in order to expand its global footprint.
Featuring a small-format layout comprising two storeys and 3,600m² of retail space, the store marks a shift away from the conventional department store format in Australia.
Steinhoff Group’s division Pepkor has been chosen as the store franchise partner, which is located in St Collins Lane.
Debenhams international managing director David Smith said: “International expansion in key markets is a strategic priority for the business. More than 20 million shoppers visit our 175 UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) stores each year and this includes a huge number of Australian consumers.
“Shoppers in Australia spend more than $5.1bn on fashion and $8bn on beauty products a year – add that to the fact that we know that our offering resonates and the next logical step for the business was to open a store in Australia.”
Offerings at the new store include clothing and products from the retailer’s portfolio of UK designer names such as Jasper Conran, Julien Macdonald, Preen, Savannah Miller, Matthew Williamson and Jenny Packham.
In addition, the store will also feature services such as style suite, beauty rooms and café.
Debenhams Australia managing director Graham Dean said: “The opening of Debenhams St Collins Lane is an evolution of our success with the Australian market, with online sales to Australia already the largest outside of the UK.”
The retailer operates about 243 stores across 28 countries.