The online fashion retailer Boohoo has purchased the UK high-street giant Debenhams for £55 million. As part of this deal, the fast-fashion brand will not be taking on any of Debenham’s remaining 118 stores. This will result in up to 12,000 jobs being lost as these stores shut.
What did Debenhams do wrong?
With a long history stretching back over 242 years, Debenhams was one of the UK’s most recognisable shopping brands. They have been the largest department store since the 1950s, when they had opened 110 stores.
However, in the past decade, there has been a distinct drop in their profits. They have gone into administration twice, and announced that they were closing multiple stores before the announcement of this sale. This included the flagship Debenhams store on London’s Oxford Street.
The drop in profits has undoubtedly come from the rise of the online retailer. While Debenhams did offer purchases through their website, the focus was still on the stores more than innovations through the realm of online selling.
Though they had made changes in decades past that pushed them ahead of the competition, such a move had not appeared from them in some years. This allowed the next generation of shops to take over, from the new high street giants in the form of Primark to the online retailer magnates like Asos and new owners Boohoo.
It is thought that Boohoo is going to restructure and transform the existing brand and launch it again as an online retailer similar to their flagship brand.
What can affiliates learn from this sale?
Though it might seem like just another news story, there is an important lesson that affiliates can learn here. You need to be aware of what your audience expects from your brand, and you need to come up with ways that you can best deliver this.
Debenham’s audience demanded that they improved their online retailer ventures, and the brand failed to deliver. However, they now have the chance to work on these aspects thanks to the buyout from Boohoo.
As an affiliate brand, you need to be able to keep yourself nimble enough to chop and change your program as your audience requires, while also being strong enough to push for growth in the areas you need it the most.
Listen closely to what your audience is saying. They are the ones who will keep coming back to your brand so you need to ensure that you are offering them the service that they want!
The trick here is to balance their desires with what they need, as they might not be aware of the latter as much of the former. As an affiliate marketer, you need to be able to deliver on both fronts.
Do so, and you will be in a fantastic position to further your brand. Take a look at what your audience is asking for at the moment, and take the time to shape your brand to best fit their needs and desires.