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Debenhams launches catalogue to boost online sales

Debenhams will this week launch its first catalogue, delivering a further blow to cheaper rival Argos, which announced a collapse in profits last week.

The 68-page catalogue will offer furniture, electrical goods and products for the kitchen and bathroom.

It is expected to be delivered to Debenhams’ 195,000 storecard holders from tomorrow.

The new catalogue will increase pressure on rivals, as Chief executive Michael Sharp hopes to draw shoppers to the Debenhams website and further boost its online business. Internet sales in the year to last month rose 74 per cent to £180 million.

Home Retail Group said first-half profits at its Argos chain dropped 94 per cent to £3.4 million on sales of £1.7 billion.

The news put mounting pressure on HRG chief executive Terry Duddy, who in April also took on direct responsibility for the Argos chain after managing director Sara Weller left for personal reasons.

The Debenhams catalogue includes tips on kitting out the home and is also likely to put pressure on more direct middle-market rivals such as Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser.

‘The aim of the catalogue is to highlight the breadth of our offer,’ said Steve Lightfoot, Debenhams’ trading director for Home. ‘We’re confident the catalogue will encourage customers to reappraise Debenhams as a homeware destination.’

Source : Neil Craven –

22 October 2011
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