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Shoe Studio labels to return to Debenhams

Debenhams is in advanced talks to reintroduce some of Shoe Studio Group’s labels, in the same week it emerged that it is set to acquire the Principles brand name.

The department store retailer, which this week said like-for-likes dropped 3.6% in the year to August 29, said it was in discussions with Dune Group owner Daniel Rubin – who acquired Shoe Studio when it hit the buffers in March – about reintroducing the Roland Cartier and Roberto Vialli labels, which will be sold exclusively from 50 stores in February. They will be joined by Dune-owned brand Head Over Heels.

Debenhams said the strategy would give it a comprehensive footwear offer – which already includes a new fashion concept called Shoe Boudoir from Kurt Geiger and its own label Red Herring – and help it achieve its goal of doubling its footwear market share to 4%.

Debenhams’ relationship with Shoe Studio ended earlier this year after Shoe Studio’s licensing deal ended with US brand Nine West – its best-performing footwear brand in Debenhams.

Meanwhile, Debenhams has driven margins by upping its own-label offer and re-allocating 530,000 sq ft of space, and is set to resurrect former Mosaic women’s brand Principles.

Outlining Debenhams’ year-end trading figures, chief executive Rob Templeman said that he had been “disappointed” with concessions’ sales, which were “significantly down” at the retailer over the year.

He added that he was working with concessionaires to help them improve performance. “We need concessions to work to their highest level,” said Templeman.

Meanwhile, Debenhams has signed London Fashion Week designer Henry Holland to its Designers At stable for spring 10.  H! by Henry Holland targets 17- to 25-year-olds and is priced from £5
to £60.

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