Debenhams appoints Andrea Abbis to lead marketing operations amid turnaround plan

Debenhams appointment marks the beginning of a new marketing strategy

Debenhams is hoping to put recent travails firmly behind it with the appointment of Andrea Abbis as its new marketing operations director from 9 March.

The high-profile role will see Abbis report directly to newly installed chief marketing officer Abigail Comber and marks another throw of the dice for the troubled department store as it gambles on fresh talent to find favour with customers once more.

As a former head of marketing, trade planning and media at Sainsbury's, Abbis is credited with developing a strategic vision and marketing strategy for Argos, Tu Clothing and the Sainsbury’s Home brands by drawing together marketing, digital, stores, supply and commercial roles.

Debenhams began the year with a programme of heavy retrenchment which saw the closure of 19 stores, further degrading high streets which were already reeling from a downturn in spending.

This is believed to have left the chain with approximately 1.3m square feet less floor space than it began the year with, equivalent to a one-tenth reduction in size.

A leaner Debenhams is set to contract further by 2021 with the expected closure of a further 28 stores.

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