Debenhams aims to firmly establish itself in the Russian retail market, which is on target to become Europe’s biggest by 2013/2014.
The store is at MEGA Belaya Dacha in Moscow, a mall owned by IKEA's Russian shopping centres arm, and is the 70th international opening for Debenhams.
Spread over 35,000 sq. ft., customers can expect ranges from world-renowned designers, an impressive homeware offer and a full beauty and cosmetics selection in partnership with Rive Gauche.
The exclusive designer ranges that will be completely new to Russia include Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, H! by Henry Holland, Rocha by John Rocha and J by Jasper Conran. Following great success in the UK, shoppers will also, for the first time, be able to snap up 'Edition', featuring the very best from Britain’s up and coming designers.
Says Debenhams International Director Francis McAuley, “Russia is a key market, and we are excited that launch day is finally here. With an annual footfall of 70 million, Mega Belaya Dacha is the perfect spot for our first opening.
“Debenhams will be one of the first retailers to offer a full range of fashion, cosmetics, accessories, lingerie and homeware in one store and the product and prices will appeal to the vast majority of Russian consumers.
“And we have big plans for future growth; this will be the first of many Debenhams stores in the country with a further eight already in the pipeline.”
Debenhams aims to double the scale of its international business over the next five years and the sheer size and strength of the consumer market in Russia makes it a significant part of this strategy.
Thousands of shoppers are expected to flock to the new store today, to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony and get the first look of the brand new offer.
The Debenhams team, including 65 new recruits, has been busy putting the finishing touches to the store, which has been three months in development. Over the past seven days the store has received more than 90,000 items of stock including over 4,000 dresses, 2,000 pairs of menswear jeans, 1,800 pieces of babywear and 1,500 bed linens.
To celebrate the latest international opening, a host of Designers at Debenhams and some of fashion’s biggest names will be flying into Moscow for a VIP launch party on 4th October. Matthew Williamson, Henry Holland, Jasper Conran, John Rocha, Ben de Lisi and Aliza Reger will host the event at the British Embassy and will also be making an appearance in store.
Franchise partner Debruss will be running a Facebook competition offering one lucky member of the public the chance to meet the designers and attend the VIP party.
Nick Hill, CEO of Debruss, Russian partner of Debenhams says: "We are delighted to be bringing Debenhams, this great British department store brand, to the Russian market and we are very excited to be locating our first store in such a great mall as MEGA Belaya Dacha with its proven record of success.”
Debruss is run by a board of directors that have unrivalled experience of department store retailing in both the UK and Russia and have been responsible for the delivery of some of the finest and most commercial retail stores in Moscow.
Håkan Nilsson, Head of Leasing at IKEA Shopping Centres Russia says: “Debenhams choosing MEGA Belaya Dacha in Moscow as the location for its first Russian store demonstrates that MEGA Centres are the first choice for international retailers looking for a “safe launch pad” into the fast growing Russian market. They provide a familiar environment for foreign retailers in which the cultural and legal barriers have been safely negotiated”.
Debenhams is one of the leading British department store chains and it has a legacy dating back to 1785. Debenhams operates in more countries than any other department store with 70 franchised stores in 26 countries from Iran to Ireland and Malta to Malaysia.
Mega Belaya Dacha,
1st Pokrovsky Proezd 5