Debenhams: Still having a terrible time
Debenhams are saying that people are on the High Street, but they're not spending any money on it. The general public, in their eyes, are merely loitering like lads not old enough to buy fireworks.
Debenhams, it turns out, have reported a 25% decline in profits.
"Talking to our customers it is clear that they are very aware of all the positive economic indicators in the press and on TV," said chief executive Michael Sharp.
"They see all that and inflation starting to come off. They understand it but none of that is translating into how they manage their weekly or monthly budgets. We are very cautious about the strength of the UK consumer recovery over the rest of the financial year."
These comments are in relation to the news that wages are actually start to outstrip inflation for the first time in years. However, people aren't going to Debenhams with their winnings. Seems everyone is okay for pans and bedding. Of course, the retailer has been having a tricky time of it for a while and they issued a profit warning on New Year’s Eve.
Debenhams have failed to fully grasp online retail, where all the competitors are making sales. With this, they're going to push the online retail and delivery angle. Within the year, they want a cafe or restaurant in every single store in the hope that consumers will spend longer in their stores.
Sharp also pointed at Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct (who have the option to buy a 6.6% stake in Debenhams), saying: "Our customers buy sportswear and we only have a small sports business so we are talking about any potential opportunities with Sports Direct."
Are we going to see Debenhams stop being the dowdy lady of the High Street and turn into Soccer AM?