Debenhams brings all global tag printing in-house

Hannah Jordan
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Debenhams has expanded its in-house print operation to include all product labelling, previously outsourced to bureaus in the UK and the Far East, after the addition of a Xerox iGen150 and Nuvera 157.

Magenta produces all Debenhams' global product tags following Xerox investment
Magenta produces all Debenhams' global product tags following Xerox investment

Taunton-based Magenta Print & Display already produces all the graphics for Debenhams’ 168 UK stores and, since their January installation, the new devices have enabled the operation to output up to 1m product labels per day for use across the retailer's global outlets.

The circa-£600,000 investment has already delivered massive cost reductions, according to Debenhams’ director of print operations Chris Tester.

“A lot of our suppliers were in the Far East and the thinking was that there would be a shorter delivery time and lower cost but in practice in some cases it was no cheaper than delivering to the UK,” he said.

“Smaller batches also meant it was very fragmented and there were significant quality control issues, so bringing it all back to one UK production facility made financial sense,” he added.

Tester said the two devices, which replaced a raft of sprocket-fed printers, were a necessary investment to meet increasing volumes and demand and had enabled the business to improve quality and expand its offer to include larger sheet sizes.

Key to their implementation had been XLPrint's Paris document creation software, supplied by Xerox, Tester added.

“The front-end software was the real hook for us because it means we can simply take product and barcode data from our mainframe and output it in whatever format we want,” he explained.

The £13m-turnover operation employs 90 staff at its 5,600sqm facility and operates a range of digital and offset kit including B2 and B1 Heidelberg presses, an Inca Onset S20 and small-format Xerox and Konica Minolta digital kit.

Last year the company added a Durst Rho P10 320R and a high-speed Rho 320 HS to its fleet, boosting its UV wide-format capacity, as part of an £800,000 revamp of its print facility that also included a second Fotoba slitter, Seal laminator and Esko Automation Engine workflow.

Tester said: “The Durst, especially the P10, has had the biggest impact for us. It has given us so much firepower, we are now doing all of the window displays for Debenhams cosmetics and fragrance brands. The offer here in terms of quality has really gone up and we are very likely to roll out the fabric printing, which we have so far focused on our Oxford Street store, across the global business over time.“

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