The Organisational Challenges Faced By Debenhams Commerce

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Debenhams Plc is a public limited company. Founded in 1778 as Flint & A ; Clark, Debenhams operated as an independent company until its hostile coup d’etat by the Burton Group in the late eightiess. In 1998 Debenhams regained its independency when it was “ demerged ” from the Burton Group, which later changed its name to Arcadia Group plc.

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The Groups chief activity is selling of manner vesture and accoutrements, cosmetics and merchandises for usage in the place. It retails womenswear, menswear, homewares, wellness and beauty, accoutrements, intimate apparel and childrenswear. The Group trades from section shops and little shop formats.Brands include Interior designers and Debenhams, including third-party trade names. The Group has 161 section shops including 10 Desire by Debenhams shops, across the United Kingdom and Ireland with about 11 million square pess of trading infinite and about 27,000 employees.

The Group has a portfolio of more than 55 ain trade names such as Debut, Maine New England, Red Herring and Thomas Nash including 25 Interior designers of Debenhams trade names. Company brands history for approximately 70 % of gross revenues. Debenhams besides offers a nuptials gift service, in-store eating houses and coffeehouse. The company has 51-plus international franchise shops in 19 states including, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and will shortly be opening 8 in Denmark. Debenhams besides extends its client range by doing direct gross revenues through its web site. Debenhams is company that is registered and trades its portions on the London Stock Exchange ( LSE ) .


An administration construction harmonizing to Mintzberg ( 1979 ) is the sum sum of the ways in which it divides it ‘s labour into distinguishable undertakings and so achieves coordination between them ” An administration construction determines task allotment, describing lines, and formal coordination mechanisms and interaction forms. Harmonizing to Basset and Carr ( 1996 )  an administration ‘s construction should underscore flexibleness of response to market and environmental forces, this is accomplished by appropriate variableness in the leading function to suit the fortunes. ” As a retail administration, Debenhams emphasises its construction in response to market and environmental forces by placing and developing new endowments to accommodate what ‘s go oning in the market and the retail and concern environment in general.

Wright and Burns ( 1998 ) province that, administration constructions mostly depend on what sort of concern the administration is e.g. primary ( e.g. extraction of natural stuffs, secondary, ( e.g. transition of natural stuffs to complete goods ) and third ( e.g. services ) . The construction of an administration is besides affected by ownership and figure of employees in the concern. Debenhams is a public owned company. Its functional administration based on product/brand but has a level organizational construction headed by a Chief Executive Officer ( CEO ) and organises employees into different sections selling different merchandises  The functional construction groups employees together based upon the maps of specific occupations within the organisation. ” Melissa Bushman ( 2007 ) .

The writer belongs to the Home section where they deal in place wares including marrying gifts. Other sections include Men ‘s wear and Women ‘s wear. The dividing of employees harmonizing to sections in Debenhams allows directors to exercise control on a smaller figure of employees, doing it easier to pull off, be more efficient and allows for easy communicating between employees and direction.


The civilization of an administration refers to the alone constellation of norms, values, beliefs, ways of behaving and so on that characterize the mode in which groups and persons combine to acquire things done, Eldridge & A ; Crombie ( 1974 ) . At Debenhams they have a alone constellation of norms, values and beliefs that characterize the mode in which they work as a group to acquire things done. They have a manner which sets them apart from others.

Drennan ( 1992 ) defines civilization as, ‘how things are done around here ‘ . It is how things are done at Debenhams that makes them who they are. Its about their trade name, their people and how they market themselves. Schein ( 1990 ) suggests a position of organizational civilization based on distinguished three degrees of civilization, from the shallowest to the deepest artifacts and creative activities, values and basic premises. The Debenhams civilization is about excellence, its about design and invention. The civilization at Debenhams goes with the times but its traditions remain integral and have been so for two centuries.

Debenhams civilization is based on being a premium section shop retail merchant. A household friendly shop who supply interior decorator labels at low-cost monetary values. The best statement to Debenhams civilization is its people.

Retail is a fast-moving, exciting concern where teamwork truly makes an impact. At Debenhams they think everyone can hold an impact on their success. Wherever you go in Debenhams you will run into friendly, welcoming people who will care about your well being and back up your development but besides expect you to be a valuable member of the squad. If you want to force your boundaries and take the enterprise, they help you do it.

Whether you are a gross revenues adviser or merchant, Debenhams growing and comprehensiveness of chance and focal point on personal development makes it the ideal topographic point to develop your calling. From the gross revenues floor where people can act upon clients to behind the scenes functions, every individual can act upon the public presentation of Debenhams. Our senior direction squad listens and Acts of the Apostless on feedback.

At Debenhams they want people who have a existent passion for what they do, people who are self-motivated. Peoples who will utilize their enterprise to move on the freedom they are given and will drive their ain development. Sutherland & A ; Canwell ( 1997 ) say  if employees portion the cultural values of the administration so they will be more likely to be committed to it. ” At Debenhams employees are committed to the administration as they believe and portion in its civilization and values.

Certain administrations stress the importance of personal enterprise and accomplishment ; so they reward employees for personal public presentation. On the other manus, other administrations positively encourage competition between sections or sub-division of the administration, Sutherland et Al ( 1997 ) . The Debenhams civilization stresses personal enterprise and accomplishment and at the same clip positively encourages competition between sections of the administration. Both single and squad enterprise and growing are encouraged.

The civilization in Debenhams is one that is caring, make bolding, enabling and encourages sharing. Harmonizing to Blanchard and Bowles ( 1998 ) and their Gung Ho civilization, an administration should take to make a civilization of committed employees who love what they do by adhering to the undermentioned three rules: Worthwhile work driven by ends and values- An administration should concentrate on worthwhile work, usage of instance surveies, reappraisal end criterions for persons and squad members. Puting workers in control of accomplishing the end.

Cheering each other on- the power of feedback, wagess and acknowledgment and action planning. The Gung Ho procedure purposes to turn to the followers:

  • Improve morale and productiveness
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Develop a sense of intent
  • Improve creativeness and invention
  • Improve service to internal and external clients
  • Empower persons and squads

The writer feels Debenhams their employer, fulfils rules as described in the Gung Ho procedure by Blanchard et Al ( 1998 ) . This is so because the work is driven by ends and values. Good criterions are maintained through regular preparation and reappraisal of persons and squad members. By puting sensible and realistic marks workers are put in control and are able to accomplish set ends and even outdo themselves by traveling beyond. The administration recognises the power of feedback by keeping regular meetings where everyone participates. It besides recognises the importance of wagess and action planning. Rewards aid hike morale and productiveness while action planning and develop a sense of intent.

Current Economic Climate and how it might impact profile and Culture

The past 18 months has seen the economic system of the UK and the remainder of the universe severely hit and earnestly bruised by the recognition crunch. The current economic clime could hold great impact on the profile and civilization of Debenhams as an administration. These impacts could be Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal, shortened to PESTEL.

PESTEL Analysis of Debenhams

Political changes-E.g. a alteration in authorities or a alteration in authorities policy. Government plans to implement the scheduled VAT addition ( back to 17.5 per cent ) on New Year ‘s Day. To alter every monetary value in all of its 161 shops at that clip would take 250,000 adult male hours.

Debenhams has been encouraged by authorities ‘s determination on Local Employment Partnership Scheme ( LEP ) to make employment and will make 1200 occupations between 2010 and 2011and receive authorities aid in run intoing its preparation demands.

Economic changes-Relate to alterations in the wider economic system such as rises in life criterions or the general degree of demand, rises or falls in involvement rates, etc. United kingdom markets have been affected by economic concerns through the recognition crunch. Lower available income will impact and strategic focal point may necessitate to alter to take down priced basic merchandises with less focal point on higher priced trade names proposing a switch in monetary value architecture.

The economic system is predicted to turn out of recession in the approaching twelvemonth. As the US economic system, the universes biggest has started turning the growing of exports to that state will make more occupations in the UK economic system and as a effect more consumers will purchase the Debenhams trade name.

The uninterrupted autumn in the value of the Pound Sterling against the Euro is likely to convey in more tourers from the EU and beyond who will buy Debenhams merchandises at a competitory monetary value. As most of the universe recovers from the current economic crisis. Debenhams are likely to spearhead their enlargement into the international market, presenting new clients to new trade names in an exciting retail environment.

Social changes-Relate to alterations in wider society such as alterations in life styles e.g. more adult females traveling out to work, alterations in gustatory sensations and purchasing forms.

Debenhams has added client evaluations and reviews to its online store to heighten its clients ‘ on-line shopping experience and thrust gross revenues. Debenhams ‘ clients do n’t merely hold to trust on a trade name ‘s professional sentiment – they will besides now be able to hear what fellow shoppers think.

The group is besides bettering its web site, adding characteristics such as societal networking capableness, picture and catwalk/outfit projection, an on-line mercantile establishment that leads to current offers and publicities, a installation that allows clients to shop by size, every bit good as merchandise reappraisals and studies.

The call for just trade is besides another thing that Debenhams has to detect. For illustration Debenhams eating houses now stock merely Douwe Egberts Good Original Coffee. Every cup of Good Original Coffee can be traced back to the farm where it was grown and has been certified by Utz Kapeh, a planetary non-governmental administration. This is guaranting we are assisting husbandmans look after their workers, their households and the environment in which they live and work.

Technological changes-Relate to the application of new innovations and thoughts such as the development of the Internet and websites as concern tools. New cyberspace and telecasting engineering which use particular effects in advertisement will do Debenhams merchandises known and attractive to more clients as more people are now doing usage of the cyberspace.

Debenhams has opened online shops due to advancement in engineering of the cyberspace and can now sell its merchandises without utilizing store infinite. This will let it to vie favorably in this rough environment.

Positive public presentation online is assisting lift annually net income at Debenhams, this is despite the rough economic convulsion in the domestic and international market Environmental changes-Relates to what is go oning with regard to the ecological and environmental facets.

Debenhams have besides joined calls to cut down impact on planetary heating by driving a Store energy salvaging program, reexamining timings for visible radiations, escalators and air conditioning. Overnight displacements have been reduced with visible radiation focussed merely in the countries it ‘s needed. As a consequence of these attempts the administration has achieved the Energy Efficiency Accreditation awarded by the energy Institute.

Debenhams is now lending to a national fund which will assist to develop specific WEEE ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ) aggregation Centres to guarantee that more WEEE gets recycled.

Debenhams offer a aggregation service on a similar for similar footing, for illustration if you buy a washing machine we can take away your old 1. All the contraptions we collect are so sent to be recycled. More eco friendly steps have to be implemented, for case Debenhams have developed a more eco-friendly packaging for the bandeau neckbands on Lingerie, by utilizing a new type of board and are now able to keep the print quality, whilst presenting 20 % recycled content.

Legal changes-Relate to alterations in statute law. This may impact employment, entree to stuffs, quotas, resources, imports/exports, revenue enhancement etc. Debenhams has been affected by the WEEE ( Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment ) directive from the authorities and is making its spot to assist care for the environment. The directing provinces that as a retail merchant we are responsible for increasing the sum of WEEE ( Waste Electrical and Electronic equipment ) that is recycled in the UK.

Debenhams reactions to the current economic clime

Gun trigger events like the recognition crunch affect administrations in many different ways. Towards the terminal of 2008, Debenhams struggled as clients were no longer purchasing much of their merchandises as the economic system slid into recession.

The current economic clime is likely to impact on Debenhams ‘ profile and civilization. The study by Graeme Wearden, in the Guardian of ( 21st October, 2008 ) gives a clear illustration of how the current economic clime has affected Debenhams.

The profile of the administration might alter as it could be more hard to raise financess for new ventures or enlargements and besides might cut down the current size of the company as there could be downsizing. The negative tendencies in the economic system besides might impact the civilization of Debenhams as its employees will be runing in a civilization of uncertainness.

However, the negative tendencies in the economic system have had some positive effects on Debenhams as reported in the Waterford Today ( 6th January, 2009 ) .

On the twenty-four hours ( 6th January 2009 ) Debenhams released its interim direction statement for the 18 hebdomads to the 3 January 2009, it besides reported that gross revenues of interior decorator gear usually associated with roar times instead than flop, are back in trend thanks to a new type of shopper, the recessionista. ” Spring/Summer 09 at Debenhams draws the latest influences from catwalks around the Earth with a strong focal point on wearability all with celebrated name interior decorator influences but with high street monetary value tickets. ”

ClickPress ( 14th January 2009 ) The retail merchant reported dual digit gross revenues growing across its Designer at Debenhams offer in the tally up to Christmas, every bit good as seeing gross revenues and net incomes addition and market portion additions in all major vesture classs, while cut downing its debt.

The current economic clime has shaken Debenhams, but the Debenhams civilization that encourages enterprise has seen them agitate off the initial autumn in gross revenues which shrunk the administrations profile and brought a civilization of uncertainness as Debenhams struggled to last. Whilst Debenhams is a premium section shop retail merchant the external factors of Bankss traveling flop, lifting unemployment adversely affected their operations. The populace could no longer afford their merchandises.

The administration strategized and came up with the thought of selling interior decorator labels with celebrated name influences but sold at high street monetary values. Despite the recognition crunch Debenhams has been able to keep its civilization of difficult work and excellence through its people. The surpassing Chairman ‘s words sum up the Debenhams civilization.

John Lovering said: I am proud of what Debenhams has achieved over the last six old ages whilst I have served as chairman.A We have set way for a sound hereafter. Debenhams is a good managed, decently financed company with a clear and successful scheme and a figure of exciting development chances. I hope my replacement enjoys the function every bit much as I have. ”

Debenhams has taken advantage of the recession ; its combination of quality, monetary value and design in its merchandises has continued to pull clients. Sky News ( 17 March, 2009 ) . The company ‘s profile will spread out as in 2010 they ‘ll open eight new shops conveying the entire figure to 161 shops across the UK and will employee 1200 new people. The civilization of the administration has altered somewhat as the perceived recognition crunch crisis ab initio shook the administration and drastic steps had to be implemented, the crisis brought a civilization of uncertainness across Debenhams. The steps implemented have seen the UK ‘s 2nd biggest section shop concatenation continue to take market portion from its rivals in all major merchandise classs. Sky News ( March, 2009 ) .

The civilization alteration which has taken topographic point at Debenhams is what Brown ( 1998 ) footings, specific development, which is the version of peculiar organizational maps ( such as research and development, informations processing and selling ) , to suit the environment. Peoples at Debenhams had to accommodate to the recognition crunch and found working ways to lift above the crisis. The Debenhams civilization has been sustained through new pattern- care symbols, beliefs and constructions.

Debenhams has been able to endure the storms of the recognition crunch because of proper planning and efficaciously pull offing today ‘s concern hazards. Reuvid ( 2005 ) points out that administrations should pass clip researching the possibility of a hazard occurring and the chance of that hazard happening and disrupting concern ‘s flow, so happen ways to cut down and extenuate these hazards. The administration should continuously be measuring the overall hazard direction substructure and investings necessary to look beyond fiscal statement, hazard to enterprise and external hazards should non be undervalued and can non be underscored plenty.

The administration needs to protect itself from inordinate hazard. This should be top precedence for direction and the audit squad. They should understand the extent to which the company is exposed to fiscal, operational or strategic hazards. Because of its readiness and strategic usage both of its fiscal, originative endowment and its human capital Debenhams has survived the worst recession in decennaries and remains standing strong.

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