Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Debenhams Break Ranks to Spark High Street Price War

Move Heralds A Much Needed Cut Price Christmas

Debenhams today (16 November 2009) stunned the High Street by launching a £250 million Christmas spectacular price cutting campaign - a full six weeks BEFORE Christmas.
Tens of thousands of items across every trading area in all of its stores and online business will have their prices slashed.

The move is bound to infuriate big rivals eager to maintain high prices as they try to cash in on customers’ willingness to spend during the festive period.

A similar pre-emptive strike by Debenhams last year was so successful that it forced many big name retailers to cut Christmas prices.

The move changed the face of promotions over the Christmas period.

Said Debenhams’ deputy chief executive Michael Sharp: “Customers everywhere continue to feel the pinch in this recession. In fact many feel that there still is no light at the end of the tunnel. They want us to reduce prices now, so that’s what our Christmas Spectacular will do.”

“With VAT set to increase in the New Year we really are offering January sale value at a time when shoppers want it most,” added Mr Sharp

Experts believe that Debenhams’ move will spark a full scale retail war on the High Street – with shoppers the winners.

Rivals will have to react – often against their will – to avoid losing business in what many believe will be the most fiercely fought Christmas shopping campaign on record.

Debenhams’ decision follows the latest retail research that shows 88% of shoppers this year are planning to spend the same or less on Christmas.

So extensive is the sale that even top designers – normally the untouchable doyennes of the fashion business – will see their prices fall during Debenhams’ Christmas spectacular sale.

Well known names such as Betty Jackson.Black, Star by Julien Macdonald, J by Jasper Conran, Rocha.John Rocha, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, Jeff Banks and St George by Duffer will all see reductions.

In addition, famous high street names that have an offer in the stores including; Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Elemis, St Tropez, Lancome, Warehouse, Kaliko, Eastex, Planet, Kookai, Nine West, Radley and Jacques Vert will also be available at knock down prices.

The four day long price cutting campaign begins on November 18 and covers everything in-store including womenswear, menswear and kids’ clothing, cosmetics and fragrance, Christmas gifting, homewares and accessories.

And unlike many other ‘pseudo sales’ on the high street which leave the general public hunting for offers, almost every single item in-store will be reduced.

To cope with customer numbers stores will be open from 8.00am until midnight on Wednesday and Thursday (18 and 19 November) from 9.00am to 10.00pm on the Friday (20 November) and 8.00am to 7.00pm on the Saturday (21 November).

Alternatively customers can shop bargains on-line 24 hours a day throughout the sale with items delivered by independent delivery services.

Free cups of tea will be given to everyone in queues forming outside stores before the 8am opening time.

Said Debenhams’ Michael Sharp: “We’re determined to provide designer clothes at prices everyone can afford.

“With our designer names and many other high street brands involved there really is no reason to shop anywhere else.

“We know that, at times like these, every penny counts, so we’re acting now to provide the Christmas value that our customers need.”

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