Debenhams in talks to open branches in US Sears stores

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Debenhams, the department store retailer, could soon enter the US retail market by opening space in Sears stores.

The two retailers are understood to be in early discussions about Debenhams opening concession or franchise areas in Sears outlets across the US. The UK department store retailer currently has around 60 franchised stores around the world and has a plan to increase this number to 100 as it looks to expand beyond its domestic market.

Debenhams will be hoping that it can attain the kind of success on the US high street that has eluded many of its rivals. UK retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Dixons and Laura Ashley, have famously come unstuck while trying to crack the notoriously tricky American market.

Sears is the fourth largest non-supermarket retailer in the US with more than 4,000 full-line and speciality retail stores in the US and Canada. The company told shareholders in February that it is “looking at adding world-class third-party retailers to our space”.

Sears has already signed deals with Forever 21, Whole Foods and Lands’ End to take space in its shops.

Earlier this month Sears Holdings Corporation, which also owns the Kmart chain, said that comparable first-quarter sales at its Sears chain fell by 5.2pc. The company said that the decrease was primarily driven by poor sales of appliances, apparel and consumer electronics.

Source : The Telegraph

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