Debenhams reports Patisserie Valerie and Chi Kitchen concession trial: Debenhams is trialling Patisserie Valerie and Chi Kitchen concessions within its department stores as part of moves to optimise space and enhance its appeal to shoppers. The company stated: “As part of our space optimisation programme, we have embarked on further concession trials, signing agreements with partners and product categories that are new to Debenhams, including BHS Lighting (trialling in two stores), Patisserie Valerie (six stores) and Chi Kitchen, an exclusive Pan-Asian cuisine offer from the owners of Mango Tree, that is opening in our Oxford Street and Birmingham stores. These are in addition to the trials already being rolled out. We remain on track to fill more than 50% of the identified 1million square foot (of spare space) by April 2016.” The news came in a trading update covering the most recent 15 weeks to 13 June – group gross transaction value for the 15 weeks was up +0.4% and up 1.7% for the first 41 weeks of its financial year. Like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks were flat but up 0.9% for the 41 weeks. Five new stores are on track to open this Autumn, in Bradford, Wandsworth, Rugby, Beverley and Newport. Chief executive Michael Sharp said: “We have made good progress on our strategic priorities, and remain on track to deliver results in line with market expectations. During this period we have continued to focus our promotional activity around the events Debenhams is famous for; we have made further improvements to our multi-channel proposition, including more competitive delivery charges; we have commenced further space trials with a number of exciting new partnerships; and have seen continued progress in our international operations, with another strong performance from Magasin. Our customers tell us that, whilst they recognise the improving economic background, they remain cautious in their spending. Our wide product choice, clear destination departments and improving service proposition gives us a strong platform from which to deliver long term sustainable growth.” Debenhams began trialling Costa coffee shops in its stores last year. The first of six opened in Guildford a year ago after customers chose the Costa brand over rivals such as Starbucks and Caffe Nero when surveyed. John Baker, director of food services at Debenhams, said last year: “Costa is the perfect partner for us to complement our successful in-house restaurant and cafe proposition. Growing our food hospitality business is an important part of our strategy to improve the return on our UK stores through a wider choice of products and brands. Nearly all Debenhams stores are equipped with a restaurant, a cafe or both. Working with third parties offers a fantastic opportunity to create an additional offering.”
Everyman Cinemas reports acquisition update: Everyman has now exchanged with Odeon Cinemas Limited and ABC Cinemas on the acquisition of four cinemas located in Gerrards Cross, Esher, Muswell Hill and Barnet. Completion of the Acquisition remains subject to landlord consent on each of the sites, save for Muswell Hill where consent has been provided and completion is expected to occur today. The timetable for exchange on the acquisition is in line with the Board’s expectations at the time the Acquisition was proposed and initially announced on 20th April 2015. The company has also exchanged on the acquisition of a site in Stratford upon Avon. The opening of an Everyman in Stratford upon Avon is expected to occur during 2017.