Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Drapers Top 100 2008 - Rob Templeman, Chief executive, Debenhams

The City’s downer on Debenhams this year has proved to be a little harsh.

Good cost control and a focus on winning back market share through vastly improved Designers At and own label ranges has meant like-for-like sales have been no where near the falls seen at Next and Marks & Spencer.

An impressive new store fit unveiled at Liverpool One earlier this year resulted in a reduction in fashion options and the broadening out of each Designers At sub-brand to deliver a full wardrobe of options for each designer-loyal customer group.

Debenhams has also introduced a new fashion classics department to compete with the likes M&S to service shoppers looking for basics by product type. The significant work on product and store design under Templeman all show signs that this business is moving back in the right direction and a reshuffle of the board which resulted in the departure of managing director Angela Spindler and the promotion of the highly respected Suzanne Harlow.

However, Debenhams is still burdened with £1 billion of debt which means it can’t afford many slip ups in the current downturn. But Templeman’s vast retail experience should stand the department store in good stead for a tough 2009.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.