Debenhams Sustainability Report

Our business strategy

Debenhams’ Chief Executive Michael Sharp set out a clear strategy in October 2011 to build a leading international, multi-channel brand. The strategy is based on four pillars:

Focusing on UK retail:

The UK will continue to be our most important market for the foreseeable future. Key sustainability issues for this pillar include: the energy consumption of our UK stores, offices and warehousing facilities; the disposal of waste generated by our UK activities; ensuring the efficient distribution of goods to the UK stores; and of course protecting the interests of the thousands of Debenhams’ employees and millions of Debenhams’ customers in the UK and playing our part at the heart of the UK communities in which we are present.

Delivering a compelling customer proposition:

Product is the lifeblood of any retailer and this pillar is concerned with the development, sourcing and marketing of our product ranges. Issues around sustainable sourcing (including ethical compliance within the global supply chain), quality assurance and international logistics are clearly key as is the work we do with our customers to enable us to communicate our proposition to them successfully.

Increasing availability and choice through multi-channel:

Customers expect the convenience of being able to shop for many different products and brands across many different channels. Our multi-channel business is growing very fast and we need to ensure it does so in a sustainable way, particularly in relation to warehousing and distribution which presents a different set of challenges from store based distribution.

Expanding the brand internationally:

Debenhams is an international retailer, more than just a UK department store, with products available either in store or online across the globe. As the business expands, we will work with our international partners to ensure their operations meet the same sustainability criteria as our own activities.

We believe that the progress made in the most recent financial year demonstrates that this strategy is starting to work. We are pleased with this and excited about our future prospects.

Click here to read more about the four pillars of the strategy.