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Drapers Fashion Summit: Debenhams director warns of Christmas discounting

Debenhams deputy chief executive Michael Sharp believes the retail sector is 'staring into the face of the worst Christmas we have ever had.'

Sharp told delegates at the Drapers Fashion Summit 2008 that there was likely to be a raft of promotional activity in the run up to Chrsitmas but that retailers needed to be "clever" about their markdowns.

Sharp said: "Retailers will have ordered less stock for Christmas in anticipation of the slowdown but my feeling is they are not destocked enough. We will see raised levels of promotional activity and we are staring into the face of the wosrt Christmas we have ever had."

"We will see [Sale] activity in the week before Chrsitmas and by the weekend before Chrsitmas we will probably see a lot [of retailers] will have gone [on Sale] by then," Sharp warned.

He added: "But you can be clever about it. Gift ranges shouldn't be marked down until Boxing Day but by this final week everyone will have bought their party dress or coat for the season. That's where to look for markdowns."

For more from the Drapers Fashion Summit visit the homepage for the event with news from the event as it happens and for indepth coverage read this week's magazine.

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