• Adding a "highly innovative leisure facility" to stores is an integral part of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy, says CEO Sergio Bucher.
  • The retailer says the facilities are set to drive footfall from a predominately 18-33-year-old female membership base.
Debenhams will open its first in store gym in Sutton on 10 September as part of its collaboration with fitness chain Sweat!

Debenhams will open its first in store gym in Sutton on 10 September as part of its collaboration with fitness chain Sweat!

Struggling British department store group Debenhams, which issued its third profit warning for the year in June, has revealed plans to open its first in-store gym next month in a move it hopes will drive footfall.

Its latest move will see Debenhams open an in-store gym in Sutton in South London next month as part of a collaboration with fitness chain Sweat! The 7,575 sq ft facility will be followed by two further sites in Manchester and Bristol next year.

The initiative is part of the department store's strategy to deliver 'social shopping' and, it is hoped, drive footfall from a predominately 18-33-year-old female membership base. There will also be shopping incentives offered to gym members.

The company is currently in the midst of the 'Debenhams Redesigned' strategy, unveiled last year in a bid to drive growth by making Debenhams more digitally-driven and more of a "destination" shop, as well as find efficiencies through simplifying and focusing the business.

There are also plans to close up to ten UK stores and exit some non-core international markets over the next five years. Debenhams is also said to be reviewing its options on its Danish operations Magasin du Nord as the company looks to cut costs.