Debenhams: Wikis


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Debenhams plc
Type Public limited company
Founded 1778
Headquarters United Kingdom London,
United Kingdom
Key people John Lovering (End April 31st 2010) /Nigel Northridge (April 2010) (Chairman)
Rob Templeman, (CEO)
Industry Retailing
Products Clothing, accessories, cosmetics, housewares
Revenue £1.83 Billion (2008)
Operating income £176.1 million (2008)
Net income £77.1 million (2008)
Employees 27,766 (2009)

Debenhams plc (LSE: DEB) is a British retailer operating under a department store format in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark, and franchise stores in other countries. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.



The business was formed in 1778 by Messrs Flint and Clark who began trading at 44 Wigmore Street in London as a drapers' store under the name Flint & Clark.[1] In 1813 William Debenham was made a partner so the name was changed to Clark and Debenham.[1] In 1818 the Company opened a second store in Cheltenham[1] and in 1851 Clement Freebody became a partner so the name was changed again, this time to Debenham & Freebody.[1] The business was incorporated as Debenhams Limited in 1905.[2]

The modern Debenhams group grew from the acquisition of department stores in towns and cities throughout the UK, under the leadership of its Chairman, Ernest Debenham. The first of these purchases, Marshall & Snelgrove at Oxford Street in London, was acquired in 1919.[1] Later purchases included Harvey Nichols in London's Knightsbridge in 1920.[1] Most stores acquired retained their former identities until a unified corporate image was rolled out across the stores. The Company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1928.

In 1976 the Company acquired Browns of Chester - the only store that has retained its own identity.[1]

In 1985 the Company was acquired by the Burton group.[1] Debenhams was demerged in 1998 and was once again listed as a separate Company on the London Stock Exchange.[1] It expanded under the leadership of Belinda Earl who was appointed CEO in 2000.[3]

The Company was acquired again in late 2003 this time by a private consortium comprising CVC Capital Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity and management. The company returned to a listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2006.[4]

In October 2009 Debenhams announced its plans to start selling more of its goods on eBay and [5]..

In November 2009, the Company acquired the Danish department store group Magasin Du Nord.


As of February 2010, the company had 158 stores (including 13 'Desire by Debenhams' stores)[6] covering 10.373 million square feet of retail space across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.[7] It also has 40 franchise stores operating in other countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia.


The company introduced 'Designers at Debenhams' including Jasper Conran, Rocha John Rocha, Betty Jackson Black, Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, H! by Henry Holland, Star By Julian McDonald, Duffer by St. George, Jeff Banks and Ben De Lisi. The company sells goods under a number of brand names that it owns in its own right.

In 2008 the Company was voted best UK department store by GMTV.[8]

International Stores





Czech Republic













Republic of Moldova


Saudi Arabia


United Arab Emirates



External links


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