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Debenhams launches new brand identity

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Department store chain Debenhams, which has a 200 year heritage, has unveiled a new brand identity to signal the next phase of its “continued transformation,” which includes a new logo, store moderations and a new flagship in Watford.

The rebrand marks the first for the department store in almost 20 years and aims to reflect and communicate the vast amount of changes taking place within the business, following tough trading conditions this year, with the high street chain posting a 84.6 percent fall in pre-tax profits in April.

It comes as part of the transformation strategy under chief executive Sergio Bucher, which over recent months has included a number of changes at the top with reports suggesting that the retailer is looking to reduce the headcount across its fashion and home departments.

At the centre of the changes is a new logo, which has been devised in partnership with creative agency, Mother, to present a “modern, friendlier logo,” with the help of a custom-made typeface and vibrant colour system that was designed to offer Debenhams’ “updated, dynamic personality” said the retailer in a press release, to replace its current uppercase guise.

The new brand look will initially appear across the retailer’s website, social and digital platforms, and 2018 programme of store modernisations as well as at its new flagship Watford store, before being gradually rolled out on all elements of communication including advertising, CRM, carrier bags, hangers and packaging.

The roll out will be supported by an autumn/winter advertising campaign that will explain its new brand approach to champion the unapologetic joy of shopping, with all adverts featuring the tag line ‘do a bit of Debenhams’ which invites customers to celebrate the department store’s brands and products.

Debenhams unveils modern, friendlier brand identity as part of continued transformation

Stores in Reading, Cambridge, Leicester and Meadowhall stores have all undergone months of modernisation work to bring in elements of the retailer's award-winning Stevenage store concept, totalling 384,000 square foot of retail space, said the retailer.

Improvements include the installation of new fixtures, which showcase fashion merchandise by genre, as well as showrooms highlighting ‘new in this week’ items, while a new lingerie concept offers a more premium setting and improved navigation, and a new jewellery and watch area refreshes the accessories offering.

In addition, the major overall of Meadowhall’s beauty department, which now occupies a third more space, 20 percent will be operated by Debenhams. The beauty offering at Reading and Leicester have also been redesign with multi-brand products merchandised in ‘Labs’ to make it easier for customers to browse and discover new ranges.

The modernisation programme along with the new branding is part of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy to transform the business and bring back customers to the brand, and follows a revamp of the online business and partnership with Mobify, which saw shopper journeys reduced by half and conversion rates improve by 20 percent, said the department store.

Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher added in a statement: “The Debenhams Redesigned strategy sets out to reinvent the shopping experience for customers. Whilst we have made real improvements to our stores and continue to improve our product offering we also want to signify overtly to customers that Debenhams is changing and give them more reasons to come in store – our new brand identity is a way of signalling the change.”

Debenhams has around 250 stores across 25 countries and is available in more than 60 countries. It offers a curated mix of own brands, international brands and concessions, including its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brand, which includes Richard Quinn, Jasper Conran, Henry Holland, Julien Macdonald, and Jenny Packham.

Images: courtesy of Debenhams

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