Debenhams is to trial a new premium 100-piece Limited Edition collection in its top 20 stores, offering numbered items at up to double the price of its existing designer collections.
The range, which launches in October and will also be sold online, is inspired by the Designers at Debenhams mainline, which includes pieces by designers such as Julien Macdonald, John Rocha and John Richmond.
The new Designers at Debenhams Limited Edition range, which also includes accessories, will be merchandised in one area, with a "party atmosphere" environment to highlight the range's glamour. Each piece will be numbered with the intention of creating collector's items, said a spokeswoman.
Debenhams is also rolling out its Betty Jackson Black collection to 100 of its 139 stores for autumn 07. Currently in 65 stores, the range has been a successful addition to the Designers at Debenhams stable since its launch in September 2005.
Design director of formal womenswear Russell Fish said the range had helped to fill a gap in the market. "Most UK stores target a youthful audience, but Betty Jackson Black is aimed at more mature 35- to 45-year-old shoppers, which has lured an additional customer base into the store."
Debenhams will also increase its denim offer by 25% for autumn 07, particularly across its Red Herring and J Jeans by Jasper Conran collections.
Focusing on fit, Conran's line will include skinny, high-waisted, boyfriend, kick flare and straight-leg styles, plus a 1970s-influenced look. Prices will range from £35 to £50. A younger, more fashion-forward offer from Red Herring will include skinny and high-waisted fits with coloured styles in red, purple, cobalt blue and fuchsia. Price points will range from £25 to £40.
In terms of trends, the retailer has highlighted leather as a key womenswear theme for autumn 07. It has eight main styles, including a biker coat and leather trench coat, with prices ranging from £35 for a PU leather design up to £400 for a tiered leather trench. Coats, knitwear and occasionwear are other strong categories in trend terms.
The ranges feature a predominantly dark colour palette, lifted by bursts of fuchsia, tomato red, cream and silver.
A Debenhams spokeswoman added that the retailer was also in talks about signing new UK designers to the Designers at Debenhams stable.