Debenhams to launch German website
Department store chain Debenhams is launching its first foreign language website in Germany as part of its international growth ambitions.
The group, which has 164 stores in the UK and Ireland and its Magasin du Nord chain in Denmark, will also now deliver to 34 further countries internationally, bringing the total to 41.
The new German site, www.debenhams.de, the first for a UK department store, is launched at a time when British companies are struggling to export to the continent as the eurozone debt crisis hits demand.
The website is entirely in the German language and transacts in euros.
Simon Forster, online director at Debenhams, said: "Our mix of famous British designers and heritage products is expected to attract thousands of new customers to Debenhams.de."
He added: "With the second largest e-commerce 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."
Trade and investment minister Lord Green backed the move.
He said: "The launch of Debenhams.de shows the power of British brands and their popularity with consumers the world over. It will enable German shoppers easier access to unique British design-led products, boosting our exports with Europe's largest economy."
The UK's online retail market, the largest in Europe, is set to grow 13% in 2012 to £77 billion, Lord Green added.
International online purchases will be delivered to shoppers' homes within five to 14 working days with delivery fees starting from £7. It is anticipated that international delivery will extend to 67 countries this summer.