Blog: Department stores take lion's share

Joe Ayling | 15 January 2008

The relative success of UK department stores John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams have overshadowed Christmas sales figures at Marks & Spencer and Next.

An interesting article from the BBC today looks at why UK department stores are enjoying something of a renaissance despite the general worries about consumer spending.

Not only do they offer dedicated floors for perfume, men's wear, women's wear and home products, but refurbishment, website sales and extended opening times have contributed to their growth. But these are also tactics common to all retailers aren't they?

A notable distinction during Christmas, however, is the convenience of buying all your gifts under one reputable roof (the willingness of British consumers to buy a gigantic plasma TV in exchange for a month's wages helps too).

Unfortunately, well-publicised lower consumer spending in the UK at Christmas meant that while larger department stores managed to lure people in from the cold, not many were left needing shelter.

For a roundup of Festive trading in the UK, also take a look at just-style's 'In the money' feature.

By Joe Ayling, news editor

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