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This week Debenhams announced they are launching a German language version of their website. The website will allow German shoppers to access their products from a localised website, making them the first British department store to launch a foreign language, fully localised website. In an Interview in the Guardian on the 8th July, Simon Forster, online director at Debenhams, spoke about the plans to boost exports by selling to Europe’s largest economy. He spoke also of the positive impact this will have on the UK’s online retail market, an industry that is set to grow 13% in 2012 to £77bn. As well as being great news for UK economy and companies offering translation services, this is also great news for those of us who have invested time and money into learning foreign languages. At Wolfestone we are passionate about the UK increasing its exports, and hope that this move by Debenhams will encourage other UK retail stores to follow their lead. This will undoubtedly mean the demand for employees with foreign language skills will increase, as these companies consider how to best meet the needs of their foreign customers. The British Chamber of Commerce states that export businesses that are pro-active in their use of language and cultural skills, achieve on average 45% more sales than companies who conduct their business solely in English. We hope this move heralds the beginning in a wave of international expansion, helping to boost employment and export statistics on the way. You can view the German version of the website at www.debenhams.de

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