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Three UK department stores announce rebrands

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The UK high street is getting a refreshed new look from this week after three of the British’s best-known retailers John Lewis, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols all announced that they were rebranding.

Department store John Lewis announced that is looking to focus on what differentiates them from their competitors by added ‘& Partners’ to its brand name in a bold rebranding to highlight the company’s partnership business model and culture and to reiterate its stance on investing in its partners.

The new brand name was unveiled on the facades of the John Lewis flagship on Oxford Street in London, which has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, as well as its stores at White City, Westfield, and Waitrose’s shops in Edgware Road and Clerkenwell in London, which will now be known as Waitrose & Partners.

Paula Nickolds, John Lewis & Partners, managing director said in a statement: “Our Partnership business model and the inherent strength of our Partners really sets us apart. That’s why the change to our visual identity this week puts Partners back at the heart of everything we do. This move not only reflects the business we have become but more importantly, the business we want to be.”

All logos have been changed on both retailer’s websites, as well as carrier bags, uniforms, trolleys, marketing activity, internal shop signs and selected lorries and vans, said the retailer in a statement. With the full identity change to all 50 John Lewis shop and 348 Waitrose facades and the combined fleet of 3,500 lorries and vans is being phased “over a number of years” to tie in with refurbishment plans.

Debenhams unveils new brand identity

While Debenhams, which has been going through a turbulent year with profit drops and looming redundancies, has unveiled a “modern, friendlier logo,” as part of its new brand identity to signal the next phase of its “continued transformation,” which also includes store moderations and a new flagship in Watford.

The rebrand for Debenhams marks the first for the department store in almost 20 years and was devised in partnership with creative agency, Mother to replace its current uppercase guise with a custom-made typeface and vibrant colour system designed to showcase the retailer’s “updated, dynamic personality,” said the retailer.

Debenhams chief executive Sergio Bucher commented in a press 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.”

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Harvey Nichols rebrands as Holly Nichols

In Knightsbridge, luxury department Harvey Nichols has unveiled a temporary rebranding for September, Holly Nichols, to mark the launch of the newly refurbished first floor of its London flagship and its new campaign celebrating women, ‘Let’s hear it for the Girls’.

The retailer unveiled a new illuminated ‘Holly Nichols’ sign, and introduced rebranded shopping bags, signage and other collaterals across the brand's London flagship and regional stores, alongside a new website, www.hollynichols.com and rebranded all social media channels to support the campaign.

The ‘Let’s hear it for the Girls’ campaign to celebrate female empowerment includes trunk shows, new launches, brand parties and inspirational talks by women who have influenced culture and challenged attitudes, and aims to highlight that the department store’s now has four floors dedicated to womenswear.

Deb Bee, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols, said in a press release: “We are incredibly excited to unveil our Holly Nichols campaign – a month of events celebrating women, those who have inspired us in the past, and those that continue to do so today. Our Knightsbridge flagship now has four floors dedicated to womenswear – and we’ve ramped up our range of our beauty services to suit women’s often demanding lifestyles.”

Images: courtesy of John Lewis & Partners, Debenhams and Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols
John Lewis
John Lewis & Partners