The Duchess effect hits Debenhams: Label loved by Kate becomes department store's best-seller
The store saw sales up by 3.9% this year
Kate Middleton's favourite designer Jenny Packham takes sales crown as top occasionwear brand
13:59 GMT, 29 June 2012
Whatever the Duchess of Cambridge touches turns to gold.
From the Zara cornflower blue dress to the vibrant pink jeans, her wardrobe choices have sent high-street sales soaring with shoppers desperate to emulate her impeccable style.
And one high street store is reaping the rewards of the Kate effect as Debenhams sees sales up 3.9% with the Duchess's favourite label, Jenny Packham taking the sales crown as top occasionwear designer.
Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Calgary Airport in a yellow Jenny Packham
At Royal Albert Hall wearing a teal Jenny Packham dress with lace detail
Kate arrives for the ARK Gala Dinner in extravagant rose sequined Jenny Packham gown
Figures released yesterday show the store's selling power against a challenging combination of bad weather and continuing economic uncertainty both at home and in the euro zone, meaning for other retailers many shoppers are staying at home.
Debenhams' enviable sales growth, according to the retailer, is down to meeting the needs of customers and delivering value, especially around key events such as Easter, Mother’s Day, the Diamond Jubilee and pay days.
Debenhams also invested in marketing to tell shoppers about these moments in time as well as continuing with its premium ‘Life Made Fabulous’ ad campaign.
Online sales also grew by 34.9% and have increased by 40.2% this year with visitor numbers up by 40%.
Debenhams sees sales up 3.9% despite the struggling economic climate
Michael Sharp, Debenhams’ chief executive said: 'Our like-for-like growth really shows that if you communicate and deliver great value and great products then customers will shop with you. I am really pleased with the results.'
And it comes as no surprise that the designer that Kate Middleton put on the fashion radar is leading the pack.
No.1 Jenny Packham is now the retailer’s leading occasionwear range following its launch in May when it joined Debenhams’ Designers at Debenhams portfolio.
The British designer's collection, featured exclusively in Debenhams, was brought in to further enhance the retailer’s ethos of making fabulous designer ranges accessible on the High Street.
It captures Jenny’s signature style in a collection of dresses, available in soft metallics, floral or intricate graphic prints and bold block colours.
They feature Packham's signature wrapping, pleating and gentle draping of fabrics, in a variety of styles from floor-sweeping maxis to organza prom dresses.
A range of accessories including bags, jewellery, shoes and occasion headwear will complement the dresses, with prices ranging from 18 to 100.
Jenny Packham, who has shopped in the store all her life, took the crown as the top selling occasionwear
The store's top selling item this year was this gold embellished jersey waterfall dress, which can be snapped up for a reasonably priced 90
The collaboration also sees Jenny’s first foray into childrenswear design, as the women’s collection is complemented by a capsule bridesmaid offer.
The flower girl and bridesmaid dresses take Jenny’s signature elegance and attention to detail, to create charming pieces for children, featuring georgette, lace and intricate embellishment to add sparkle. Prices start from 48.
The designer said: 'As a young girl I was regularly abandoned in Debenhams Southampton whilst my parents disappeared to search for the latest Teasmade or some other ‘must have’ electrical appliance. During this time I lost myself in the rails of 70’s polyester and dreamt of a life in fashion.
'Therefore it is only natural that I have chosen Debenhams to launch my first High Street collection.
'My aim always is to design styles that create glamour and excitement whether it is for the red carpet or a teenage prom.'
'My collaboration with Debenhams is a great opportunity for me to offer my signature style at an attainable price.'
Packham joined the likes of Julien Macdonald, Roksanda Ilincic, Jonathan Saunders and Matthew Williamson who have also created capsule collections for the UK retailer.
With the luxury brand boasting an elite fan base, Jenny Packham's purse-friendly pieces have proven to be a hit with price-conscious shoppers.
Stars such as Rihanna, Keira Knightley, Beyonce and Cameron Diaz have been spotted in gowns from Jenny Packham.
The most memorable piece worn by the Duchess of Cambridge being a 3,800 shimmering gown worn to the ARK charity gala last year.
The store's top selling item this year was a gold embellished jersey waterfall dress, which can be snapped up for a reasonably priced 90.
Debenhams' commitment to supporting the high street was also evident over the same time frame with nine modernisations in Middlesborough, Preston,
Harrow, Luton, Bournemouth, Colchester, Reading, and Harrogate completed, with Chester due to re-launch on the 6th July, with work also starting on nine more stores across the UK.