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Department Store of the Year: John Lewis

Along with a new womenswear store concept, a dedicated fashion website and strong marketing campaigns, John Lewis’s totally overhauled fashion offer has helped sales to motor throughout the economic downturn.

In the first half of the year, fashion was the strongest-performing category, after the retailer introduced a raft of new brands to entice its customers to shop. From G-Star and Diesel to Lauren by Ralph Lauren, John Lewis has cemented its position as a key high street fashion retailer this year. A strong buying team, led by buying and brand director Peter Ruis, who was promoted to the role earlier this year, will ensure the department store continues to up its fashion credentials well into 2011.


1. Beales

Trading at Beales has been exceptional this year, with the introduction of new concessions including GIVe and Noa Noa helping to drive sales. Its own-label offer has also driven innovation and margin with the launch of young fashion menswear label Redi this year.

2. Debenhams

No fewer than six new collection launches have been delivered by Debenhams in 2010 including Principles by Ben de Lisi and H! by Henry Holland. Improvements to its website and a ‘collect from store’ service have also bolstered sales.

3. House of Fraser

House of Fraser delivered what was arguably one of the biggest label launches of the year with iconic British high street brand Biba, which had Daisy Lowe as its face. A renewed own-label focus has also driven profit.

4. Psyche, Middlesbrough

Psyche’s participation in Middlesbrough Fashion Week this year saw its sales jump 40% for the week on a like-for-like basis after the retailer launched an exclusive, ticket-only catwalk and shopping evening at its store. Both menswear and womenswear have had an overhaul.

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