Debenhams secures new distribution deal

Debenhams has secured a five-year extension to its supply chain and warehousing deal with DHL, which the UK retailer hopes will support its strategy to serve customers across multiple channels.

DHL has provided warehousing and distribution for the department store chain over the last 20 years, managing stock to support shop replenishment, online sales and, increasingly, the retailer's growing click & collect offering.

The vendor promises to replenish Debenhams' 166 stores nationwide quickly and efficiently by using the right stock delivered to the right store in line with real-time purchasing trends, rather than via traditional forecasting methods. The supply of stock will be managed from three distribution centres and tied into transport planning in an attempt to reduce empty mileage.   

Dean Wyatt, VP of fashion and beauty at DHL Supply Chain, remarked: "Our renewed partnership with Debenhams builds on the successes achieved so far and focuses on activities that strengthen DHL's omnichannel distribution capabilities to meet the evolving demands of the consumer.

"It further supports DHL's continued growth in the retail industry and we look forward to working with Debenhams to introduce new initiatives to greater improve efficiencies."

DHL also introduced a dual fuel fleet for Debenhams' logistic operations in the UK and Ireland as the business has looked to drive down CO2 emissions and meet organisation-wide eco-efficiency targets.  

In a trading announcement in June, Debenhams announced that group like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks and the 41 weeks to 11 June 2016 were down 0.2% and up 0.7% respectively.

Online sales growth for the 15 weeks was at 7%, while web sales over the 41-week period increased by 9.1%. Click & collect sales were up by 19%, clearly showing where the sales growth is coming from in the Debenhams business.

CEO Michael Sharp stepped down from his role in charge of the retailer earlier this summer, with ex-Amazon VP of fashion Sergio Bucher set to take the reins in October.

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DHL Supply Chain