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Debenhams plots Russian expansion

Debenhams is set to branch into the Russian market with plans to open its first store in Moscow next year.

The department store chain plans to open eight stores in Russia over the next five years with the first store scheduled for Moscow in autumn 2012.

International director Francis McAuley told Drapers that he would be disappointed if Debenhams didn’t double the eight store target. A key reason Russia is a strong focus for growth is because tourists from the country are in the top five biggest-spending nationalities in Debenhams’ UK stores, McAuley said.

Key markets the retailer has pinpointed for growth also include China, India and Turkey with South America included in a second wave of expansion. McAuley said Debenhams would look at expanding in Brazil, Columbia and Chile.

Read the full interview with McAuley in this week’s Drapers, or at by clicking here.

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