<ul><li>By Lynsey, Heather And John McCulloch </li></ul>
Background <ul><li>The Debenhams name was first used in 1813 when Thomas Clark and William Debenham began retail operations as the Clark and Debenham partnership in central London. </li></ul><ul><li>The business grew to include a number of retail outlets across the UK and in 1905 Debenhams opened its first department store. </li></ul>
Purpose of the Company <ul><li>Debenhams is a leading department store group. Debenhams has a strong presence in categories including womenswear, menswear, homeware, health and beauty, accessories, lingerie and childrenswear. </li></ul><ul><li>Debenhams has 55 of its own brands (such as Debut, Red Herring and Pineapple) including 25 Designers at Debenhams brands. The Designers at Debenhams range offers customers exclusive product lines at mainstream prices by designers such as Jasper Conran and John Rocha. Third party brands are either bought by Debenhams (such as Estée Lauder and Levi Strauss) or available through in-store concessions (such as Oasis and Principles). </li></ul>
Management <ul><li>John Lovering - Chairman John Lovering was appointed Chairman of Debenhams in December 2003. He is also Chairman of Somerfield Limited and has led several consumer-focused private equity transactions, including Homebase Group, Fitness First, The Laurel Pub Company, Birthdays Group, Odeon Cinemas and Fired Earth. He was previously Chief Operating Officer at Tarmac plc. </li></ul><ul><li>Rob Templeman - Chief Executive Rob Templeman was appointed Chief Executive of Debenhams in December 2003. He was previously Chairman of Halfords Group, Chief Executive of Homebase Group and before that Chief Executive of Harveys Furnishing plc </li></ul>
The Size of the Company <ul><li>Debenhams has 141 stores including 8 Desire by Debenhams stores, across the UK and Ireland with approximately 10.2 million square feet of trading space. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition Debenhams has 35 international franchise stores in 16 countries outside the UK and Ireland, with a further 12 franchises scheduled to open by the end of the 2008 financial year. </li></ul>
Employees <ul><li>In the UK there is around 21,500 employees working for Debenhams. </li></ul><ul><li>Employees are retained by a generous staff discount and company benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>They are completely committed to giving all employees a good balance between work and personal life, so depending on the area and role they work in, they may be offered part time contracts, job sharing and even four-day weeks and nine-day fortnights. </li></ul><ul><li>There's plenty of paid holidays, pro-rated for part-time employees, and staff may be able to buy or sell up to 1 week's holiday time. All employees get one 'floating day' on top of their annual holiday to be used around Christmas. Also they give prospective parents both paternity and maternity leave - including those adopting . </li></ul>
Marketing <ul><li>They keep customers informed by publicising key information about the business so that as many people as possible know what is happening. By handling the promotion of their brands, new stores and promotional offers using direct mail, fashion shoots and effective marketing techniques, their Marketing team tries to make sure they always stand out from the crowd. </li></ul><ul><li>Their PR team makes sure their fashions, products and lines are continuously in the media. This means attracting the interest of journalists' by producing press releases and arranging merchandise viewings, so that articles can be written about them in the national and local press and popular magazines. </li></ul>
Pressures <ul><li>Competition from other stores. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to make sure they are complying with any new laws that come into place </li></ul><ul><li>Must meet targets but maintain high customer service levels at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition from other stores paying higher salaries to staff. </li></ul>
Evaluation <ul><li>It is easy to see that Debenhams is a company which is constantly expanding. </li></ul>
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