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Assessment of Management Skills and Market Dynamics


This study is associated with a critical analysis of Debenham's management skills and their reason behind failure in business. Debenhams is one of the most recognized brands operating inside the British isles and Denmark. It has several franchise stores in other countries. It is a fashion retail industry founded in the year 1813 to serve people with great clothing experiences. This organization collapsed in April 2019; however, it has agreed to a voluntary arrangement with the landlord for cost-cutting and planning a closure in 2021. Debenham was known for giving their customers around the world a unique and differentiated experience. There is a complete mix of own brands along with international brands observed in Debenhams. It is rated as number one in the top five-market share in womenswear and there are premium rated health products available. However, the beauty business did not work too well. This 242-year-old British retailer Debenhams has failed due to administrative issues and non adopting the technical culture of today's world. In this study, competitive analysis is done on Debenhams management skills and the way it can fit into the market gap, which has been created over the last few years.


1. Critical analysis of Debenham management skills

Debenhams has several competitors including M&S, ASOS, and John Lewis. There is a strong contribution made on managing the clothing and goods. The company owns nearly more than 100 stores. This multi-channel clothing brand offers women and men wear. There are more than 150 branches of Debenhams operating in the UK. The company is also being protected against the creditors and administrative rights have been indulged in retaining the store-based actions. There is an existence of a website worth 55 million pounds (Fernie, and Sparks, 2018). This also went off to the loss of 12000 jobs. The management had turned to poor componential analysis and it was abusive at the same time. The company had followed low morale and all staff was abusive. For each incurred loss there was blame given on supervisors. There are terrible working hours observed which made the entire office background obsolete. Product qualities had been reduced and employees were not treated like human beings there.

Debenham comes with a mission and vision statement of bringing value to the stakeholders and simultaneously reaching the goals of nationwide destinations. The main issues are underlying the "nationwide destination" of social shopping. Flexible market changes and timely adaptations are important in the survival of the core competencies. Debenhams is associated with the internal restructuring of their values to get maximum benefits (Mazurchenko and Maršíková, 2019). The strategies being currently followed at this organization in terms of risk management are:

Identifying and implementing timeframe by a board of authorities

Transparency of components and anti-fraud reporting for encouraged process across an organization

Redesigning values and activities via slow reacting to economic conditions


One of the main reasons behind the failure of Debenhams was identified within the fluctuation of the English pound and redesigning the vulnerability of economic conditions. Another Strategic condition is associated with complexity management inside the organization and analyzing the corporate governance. Debenhams is evaluated through the external facilitator that reflects adherents to the UK.

Non-executive directors require approval from the chairman for managing the conflicting roles

Ethical transparency is not met in the case of shareholders and corporate strategy making

The congruence framework of corporate shareholder responsibilities is required to be modified

Debenhams does not use democratic leadership and their management skills are being changed over time. Democratic leadership is involved within the subordinative decision-making and contributing towards the delegate authority management of people (Caro, Kök, and Martínez-de-Albéniz, 2020). This also includes a complete analysis of situational theories and trading with flagship operation in the capital breakdown structure. However, the lack of knowledge on how to use these components has essentially risked the job of workers and their overall growth of the company. The company needs to undertake these policies on an immediate basis. Chief executive Michael Sharp has adopted an uncertain and unpredictable business environment to meet the challenges and ensure successful management of business competencies. There was a combination trading approach incorporated inside retail expectation management. It is quite rigid to stock up on rapid changes and technical development management. Lack of good training to the employees and pushing accounts for meeting deadlines is one of the major reasons identified for unsuccessful competency.

Reasons of failure

This store had become a failure due to the following process such as:

Becoming irrelevant in market: Over the last few decades, this organization had lacked in creating a differentiation within market and high street retailers. It was quite similar to the products designed by M&S Maureen Hinton and global representation of brand values was also lessened. Most of the brands are setting up a target to the young generation so that a large variety of people are exposed to the brand's product (Lin et al. 2020). Initially, there were designers appointed as in-house operators to design specific collections and brand new products. The stores were however filled with fresh collections that cannot be replaced. Their steps in generating profit through beauty competency have been a potential loss to the organization. There is a lack of good products while the website was designed and hence people were looking forward to the newer brands like Primark, Boohoo for online buying goods.

Poor financial management: this organization has ended up with unsustainable debt. Some experts blame it on poor financial decisions by starting a new range of beauty products and they were absolute failures. In 2005, this organization incurred a debt of 720 million pounds. Investments were made in lands of 495 pounds. 23 shops were closed due to poor financial decision-making. These were locked as there was costly chaining done for 35 years (Patel, Guedes, and Pearce II, 2017) Entire operations department was suffering due to this process of wiping out stakeholders. Rents and bills were not even paid and a lack of efficacies was seen. Swapping of assets was becoming the only option to save their territory. The private equity style of debt management was also a failure along with the complete shutdown of 50 stores. The economy and growing retail market has had a lack of voluntary arrangement so far.

Shops with lack of innovation: According to BBC news there was a lack of innovation and the shops had become "straitjacket". There were liabilities found out that shifts consumer behavioral management and came out with the high cost. Debenhams expanded with a rapid growth rate in 2006. There were plans announced before the pandemic situation. The Brexit laws have essentially stopped this business from growing. Customers were potentially avoiding this place due to a lack of management skills and poor online services (Pinto et al. 2018). Several underperforming shops only needed a leadership change. It was looking like a mere copy of the Hinton brand. With underperforming shops, the liabilities were hard to be paid. The apparent rise in business rates had consolidated the business development and it required complete performance dealing and appreciation of products. There was lower maintenance down due to pandemic and losses suffered from 491million pounds. This discontinuity in business cannot be tolerated and requires to be essentially managed. Consumer shifting was done and people;' shopping trends and habits were queued as well. This all scenario resulted in a lack of good productive numbers for this organization.


Effective management skills will include the use of democratic leadership for all people. The categories that are supporting creativity and honesty in Debenhams employees have a feeling of fairness, courage, and competency. Without taking into consideration the democratic style no place for growth will be seen. The employees help to push the boundaries for organizational arrangements involving workplace improvement. In this way, a complete authorization of records can be maintained. To prevent any failure to the organization some motivational theories can be applied (Salhieh et al. 2021). Motivational theories help in the achievement of greater outcomes with the fullest attention along with dedication. Productivity is increased and economic sources of employee satisfaction have been observed for organizational betterment. Debenhams is identified as a family-friendly store that sells designer labels at affordable prices. In this case, Hertzberg's two-factor motivation theory can be applied to prevent failure. This theory developed in the year of 1950's works with employee motivation and satisfaction in the organization. This theory is divided into two parts that are as follows:

Motivator factors: The motivator factors lead to the satisfaction of employees and motivate them to enjoy the work that they are doing and precisely work harder in their domains. Recognition of career optimistic processes and progression that are applied to Debenham employees are associated with the growth of the organization itself. Motivating each of the persons to get involved within a fair pay competency is important. However, the recent change in leadership of including the transaction process and retailing with international opportunities of work is seen. Exclusive infrastructural deals are analyzed for transformational group analysis.

Hygiene factors

It is observed that hygiene factors hold up a great place in employees' minds. There is dissatisfaction and lack of motivation observed in terms of company policy management and involving the co-workers at their sustainable growth companionship. Influencing a person to get engaged in systematic work and enthusiastic operations of productivity indicates employee possession and growth rate. The best possible working conditions can be given to employees to improve relationships in between.

Giving equal rights and opportunities to women for the development of business can be another task of Debenhams work process. Branded products are usually sold in sophisticated ways and they should be incorporated within a progression of virtual store increasing. To prevent failure:

Debenham needs to include promotional offers and indulge in the more online offering of work and strengthening a range of products to the customers.

A competitive range of customer delivery options and promotional competencies are involved for customers (Wen, Choi, and Chung, 2019)

High technical support can be provided for store customers to connect with free wifi and gain personalized shopping experiences

Debenham needs to indulge in organizational democracy to gain participation from all sort of employees and customers can be reminded of maximum offers

Attendance rates from staff inside the workplace are required to be managed by giving lucrative offers and improving profitability and productivity

Developing a new design base and attract customers for market trend analysis

Constant equivalent transparency between all employees can be created and estimated. There is systematic indulgence observed with the adoption of ITIL strategy for incident and problem management. Debenhams requires them to turn to their trusted IT partners of CA and service desk operations. A great success factor is observed within service desk solution integrity and enabling customer support. There is a high-end administrative burden seen on IT departments that requires a resolution of proactive measures taking inside the company.

2. Interrelated nature of retail process and routines

The main functional areas within business organizations are associated with administrative management and componential analysis of the process (Wen, Choi, and Chung, 2019). For effective development of business processes, the stocks are required to be clarified and people should specialize in differential task management. The interrelated nature of retail processes and routines are associated with sales, marketing, and ICT. There are human resources, ICT, finance and distribution, and sales. Research and development and administration are assessed within marketing. The main functional areas are indulged in business activities to be carried out efficiently.

Facts are indulged in continuous professional development and filing documents. Administrative management is important in judging the particular situation of a company and managing each of the processes simultaneously. There are justified interrogations seen for sales administration and financing each person to improve profitability. Reduction in operating cost while improving on IT services is important in enhancing the customer experience. Customer helpdesk attainment is one of the important parts of achieving growth heights. Ever-changing market essentials are indulged in the service building (Pinto et al. 2018). In 2017, the CEO of Debenhams developed a strategy of surviving the industrial growth rate. Rather than being reactive, it is important to offer a transition to cultural and social needs. Internal restructuring of the customer service department is highlighted within the concept of growing a human resource pool. Many other businesses can be taken into consideration as over the last 20 years garments industry has developed new heights.

Over the last few decades, the retailing industry has changed and it requires a complete understanding of structuring the influential components. Customer relationship is critical in understanding the evolution of competitors and the persons enabled or substantially working on their duties (Patel, Guedes, and Pearce II, 2017). Consumers nowadays are no longer seeing a distinction between online and offline shopping. There is complete searching done on classical retailing of shoppers and salespeople optimization. Some changes that have been encountered for the last 20 years are:

Shoppers are having an idea of sales like the salesperson: Salespeople are not the ones to know regarding the shopping experiences. There is more information provided to the shoppers that securely are researching products and items they are buying. Now, a salesperson cannot encourage selling a non-required item to a person.

Mobile devices are allowing shoppers to find the right stores: Mobile devices are helping people with maps and giving directions to shops from where they can buy products at a good range. Ad works are done on mobile devices and they are helping in easy to click and call for finding the right stores. Mobile investments are done for approximately $1 million by most of the organization to ensure a store locator inside ads.

People are checking reviews and opinions before buying: Reviews are held maximum weightage as there is more to know from real-life users to the people that have not brought anything yet. Several shopping ads are redirecting people to the website and then campaigns are done on marking individuals and seizing opportunities around finding legitimate online comments (Lin et al. 2020). Some premium examples of digitizing the system are indulged in "Burberry social retail store", "Lush's app first store", "M&S’s in-queue checkout” can be mentioned.

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This study has highlighted the issues that have become a reason behind the demolition of the service of Debenhams. Largely retailers are selling digitized content and they understand human nature for forwarding thinking. Retailers are more concentrated on using tools like mobile, videos, and promoting content online. There is also a use of giving products to a certain category of the consumer to identify the product relevance. An analysis is presented on what went wrong for the chosen organization along with a systematic process of preventing failures in this context.



Fernie, J. and Sparks, L. eds., 2018. Logistics and retail management: emerging issues and new challenges in the retail supply chain. Kogan page publishers.

Mazurchenko, A. and Maršíková, K., 2019. Digitally-Powered Human Resource Management: Skills and Roles in the Digital Era. Acta Informatica Pragensia, 8(2), pp.72-87.


Caro, F., Kök, A.G. and Martínez-de-Albéniz, V., 2020. The future of retail operations. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 22(1), pp.47-58.

Lin, J., Ma, X., Talluri, S. and Yang, C.H., 2021. Retail channel management decisions under collusion. European Journal of Operational Research.

Patel, P.C., Guedes, M.J. and Pearce II, J.A., 2017. The role of service operations management in new retail venture survival. Journal of Retailing, 93(2), pp.241-251.

Pinto, G., Ribeiro, H., Alves, S.R. and Veloso, C.M., 2018. CUSTOMER SATISFACTION, PRODUCT AND SERVICE QUALITY IN RETAIL MANAGEMENT: THE CASE OF A FAST FOOD CHAIN. Economic and Social Development: Book of Proceedings, pp.483-491.

Salhieh, L., Shehadeh, M., Abushaikha, I. and Towers, N., 2021. Integrating vehicle tracking and routing systems in retail distribution management. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management.

Wen, X., Choi, T.M. and Chung, S.H., 2019. Fashion retail supply chain management: A review of operational models. International Journal of Production Economics, 207, pp.34-55.

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