Debenhams CEO Michael Sharp says he’ll stay through the holiday season.

(Bloomberg)—Debenhams Plc said CEO Michael Sharp will step down in 2016 after serving a five-year term at the helm of the U.K. department-store chain.

Sharp, who became CEO in September 2011, will remain in the post during the peak Christmas season and into next year to assist with a search for his successor, the retailer said Thursday in a statement.

Debenhams, No. 38 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Europe 500 Guide, also reported results for the year through Aug. 29 that it said were in line with analysts’ estimates, and said it has made “an encouraging start” to the new financial year. The retailer is reducing its previous reliance on promotional offers and held 17 fewer days of sale events last year. It’s also ramping up its multichannel offer, seeking to boost online sales to about 30% of the total from 14%. Debenhams had an Internet Retailer-estimated $665.7 million in online sales in 2014.

In March 2014, Debenhams named Ross Clemmow to e-commerce director less than a year after he was hired as divisional trading director of e-commerce. “Online retail sales are increasingly important to Debenhams and in his new role, Ross will continue to develop our digital proposition and help support our strategy of becoming a leading international, multi-channel brand,” Sharp said when Clemmow was promoted.

“The board are confident we have a clear and effective strategy and when Michael steps down, he will leave Debenhams in a strong position to compete,” Chairman Nigel Northridge said in the statement.


Debenhams said it will consider both internal and external candidates for the CEO role.