Debenhams has transformed the lingerie departments at two of its stores as part of CEO Sergio Bucher’s ‘Redesigned’ strategy.
The departments at Leeds and Milton Keynes stores have been given a full makeover, with new fitting room suites, a meet and greet desk and reduced stock density on the shop floor.
“They have been refitted along the lines of the whole look of Stevenage, our brand new store,” Sharon Webb, Debenhams’ head of buying and design for lingerie, told Lingerie Insight.
“So they’ve now got fitting room suites rather than a corridor of fitting rooms, and they are much bigger, with dimmable lights on the mirrors and dressing gowns. They have been a resounding hit – customers have loved them.”
Across both shop floors, the lingerie department has reduced its stock density by 20% with the aim of creating a relaxed environment with a cleaner look and feel.
“It was clearly a case of we’ve got to clean it up. We do like to put a lot of product into our stores – I think that’s one thing Sergio has talked about across the whole company – and he just wants to make it a nicer environment,” explained Webb.
“In the early days there was lots and lots of product, and now there’s a tighter, more edited, focused collection and we make sure everything stands up for its worth. When I first joined, there was one T-shirt bra that we had in five continuity colours and we used to run three seasonal colours in it. It was a sea of bras. Sometimes people still see it like that, but when I look back to when I first joined, we have evolved so much.”
For spring, Debenhams’ lingerie team is rethinking its entire merchandising strategy in order to let the product breathe.
“So on our fixtures and walls, we’ll have three across instead of four and we’ll have four down instead of five,” Webb revealed.
“We did some trials on it earlier in the year and both customers and staff in different departments would walk past lingerie and say ‘what have you done differently? It looks amazing’.”
For the full interview with Sharon Webb, read the February edition of Lingerie Insight, out next month.