Online Retailing signals international expansion

The UK department store seems to have ignored the eurozone debt crisis in broadening its international horizons
 Debenhams launches German website

Debenhams has announced the launch of its German website, which is set to bridge the gap between the two top performing ecommerce nations on the continent.

The site, will be the first foreign website adopted by a British store, and will appear entirely in German to cater for its already steady stream of shoppers from the country.

There are general concerns among British retailers at present regarding the eurozone crisis which is preventing mass exports from the UK. Debenhams’ positive start to the year seems to have negated the troubles experienced by other companies however, and see this as a perfect opportunity to break into more foreign markets.

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Online Director, Simon Forster enthused: "Our mix of famous British designers and heritage products is expected to attract thousands of new customers to

"With the second largest ecommerce market in Europe after the UK, Germany has consistently been one of our top performing countries online and now German shoppers will benefit from their own bespoke website."

In the six months leading to the beginning of March, the store announced pre-tax profits of 1.4 percent to £127.1 million and have decided to strike while the iron is hot, amid suggestions that the second half of the year may not be so fruitful.

While the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 football championships and the London Olympics are expected to have lifted sales for many retailers, department stores aren’t expected to be one of the main beneficiaries as people choose to spend money on barbecues, bunting and food and drink items, rather than larger luxury items or electronics.

Despite this, Debenhams’ continental expansion represents a general trend of success within the online retail market in the UK at the moment, with a forecasted growth of 13 percent in 2012 to £77 billion, according to Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Green.

"The launch of shows the power of British brands and their popularity with consumers the world over,” the Minister explained.

“It will enable German shoppers easier access to unique British design-led products, boosting our exports with Europe's largest economy."

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