Debenhams gets 2000 blueprint

Fitch and Design Solution have created a blueprint for Debenhams 2000, a revamp of the department store chain to greet the millennium, with the help of Revolution and Carte Blanche Design Consultants.

All four consultancies were initially involved with the project, confirms a Debenhams spokeswoman, but only Fitch and Design Solution were members of a working party which created the first concepts. These have since been “taken up in-house”, explains the spokeswoman, adding that the brief includes an interiors revamp.

Debenhams is opening a new store in Dublin at the end of October, designed by Fitch, which is rumoured to be the flagship for the new concept. And Fitch confirms that it has been appointed to design interiors at Debenhams in Leeds, which is being redeveloped at a cost of 20m and will re-open in 1998.

Meanwhile, Revolution was approached by Selfridges last week to discuss expansion plans for the Oxford Street department store. The store also plans to approach the John Herbert Partnership and CD Partnership.

The expected extra 18 600m2 of retail and leisure environments will increase the London store’s size by 40 per cent. Selfridges development director Brian Marchbank confirms that he expects these three companies to work on the project. All have long-term working relationships with the store.

Marchbank also plans to “select other designers in due course”, but will not address this until the end of 1997.

Carte Blanche Design Consultants is also designing interiors for a new in-store own-brand department for leading toy emporium Hamleys, which will open at the end of October. And Din Associates has just completed work on an interiors concept for French Connection’s new store in Manchester city centre, commissioned after the recent bomb destroyed the previous one.

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