Debenhams (Department Stores)

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Debenhams (Department Stores)

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Review of "Debenhams (Department Stores)"

published 25/06/2004 | Katieshaz
Member since : 01/11/2002
Reviews : 121
Members who trust : 98
About me :
Thank you for your r/r/c. I mainly write reviews about travel and eating out and I love driving my classic Mini.
Pro Location, lots of selection
Cons The interior
very helpful
Frequency of visit
Value for money
Layout & presentation
Selection & range

"Britain’s most average department store"

What is it?
Debenhams advertises itself as Britain’s favourite department store. I would describe it as Britain’s most average department store. I am speaking from my experiences at the Swindon store; the other ones I visit tend to be slightly better. Debenhams has it’s own range of products and high street concessions in it. There are 104 stores.

The Store Location:
This is probably the best thing about it. It has a town centre location, which happens to be right by my bus stop, which is great when I have a 30-minute wait for the next bus. It is a 1960’s style building that has seen better days. A lot of town centre stores seem to be like this but the newer stores in out of town malls are much nicer. I remember going in when I was a little girl and back then I was kind of quaint. Now it just seems old-fashioned. When it first opened, it must have been a very nice place to shop.

It opens up directly onto the cosmetics hall. The range isn’t as wide as House of Fraser and the staff are less friendly and there are not a lot of them around sometimes so trying to pay can be tricky. There is also a notoriously nasty sales assistant on the Dior counter down here. I wouldn’t say this was Debenham’s fault though as the staff are employed by their company and not by Debenhams. The first impression is that it needs a good clean. The white tiled floor is somewhat grey and dirty. There also seems to be a bit of an atmosphere in here I don’t like. It really has a quite negative and depressive atmosphere, hard to explain but I’m not the only one to notice it.

There is a jewellery counter, shoes, handbags and men’s wear down here. Up on the second floor is women’s wear. Up on the next floors are furniture and interiors, a wedding registry service, a beauty studio, electricals, a children’s section, toilets and a café and restaurant.

The concessions:
Faith shoes, The Shoe Studio (The House of Fraser one is so much better) Warehouse, (the third one in town) Jane Norman, (urgh I hate this ‘wannabe designer’ range and the fact that a number of girls at college used to think they were so cool getting a carrier bag from here) Dorothy Perkins and Pineapple. There are also concessions like Viyella and Anne Brookes.

Shop appearance:
It is very untidy. Lots of clothes lying on the floor and when it’s quiet and they could be tidied up, the staff are just standing around at the till points looking depressed.

The Food:
The restaurant never seems to be open. The café is ok apart from the fact that it looks out onto a grubby street. They do cheap coffee’s that manager to taste quite nice and a selection of sandwiches and cakes. Last time I went in, the waiter was very pleasant and friendly and gave me a handful of chocolates and carried my tray to a table for me. They always seem to have a copy of the Times to read which is nice when you don’t have anything else to do. The sandwiches are quite expensive and the cakes are a bit stodgy but they are perfectly edible.

I’m not too keen on both the Debenhams staff and the concession staff. I’ve mentioned the Dior assistant who seems more interested in applying more lip liner than helping any customers. She is quite rude whenever my friends or myself have spoken to her. By this I mean she either ignores you or patronises you. The Debenhams staff all wear ill-fitting purple polyester shirts and dark skirts or trousers. There is nothing really wrong with the service but some of the older staff can be somewhat rude. The retail world is not that great and I don’t mind bored looking sales assistants who really don’t be bothered to be there. None of the staff here apart from that waiter mentioned mentioned above, look like they are happy to be working there which makes me wonder if there is something wrong with the way the company treats their staff.

The concession staff are a different matter. The assistants in the Warehouse and Jane Norman concessions often make you feel like they are doing you a huge favour in ringing your items up at the till and appear more interested in talking to their friends.

HOWEVER, I know first hand that working retail is awful, I don't blame the staff for being how they are. God knows when I was a sales assistant I was just as moody and miserable.

Designers at Debenhams:
This is a great range where designers like Antoni and Alison, Jasper Conran and John Rocha design cheaper items especially for Debenhams stores. They are very reasonably priced and very well made and fashionable. This is worth taking a look at.

The Toilets:
Clean but cramped and the hand dryers don’t often work.

They take all major credit and debit cards and of course the Debenhams store card. Much to my annoyance they do not take Solo cards.

Opening Hours

9.00 or 9.30-6 pm weekdays
9 am-7.30 on Thursdays
9.00-6 Saturdays
10.30-4.30 Sundays

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Comments on this review

  • theskysthelimit published 06/01/2007
    Oh , and by the way we do take solo and visa electron (yes, thats about time!!!) :P
  • theskysthelimit published 06/01/2007
    I work in the bromley store, and I have to admit, some of the things do ring a bell when they are mentioned, such as womenswear looking like a state, but for us thats usually at the end of a long day. Luckily enough for me i work on the home dept and thats usually fine, I do enjoy my work there although they can be a bit pressuring for the hours and stuff... theres a lonnnng story behind that!!!!! However the swindon store does sound dire, and I think that is always down to the management, I would suggest going to another, better store!!!!! Oh, and the layout seems like a generic Debenhams layout, they are all the same - I guess thats so people dont get confused lol - good review! although our debenhams doesnt have waiters!!! that part sounds kinda fancy hahaha
  • Puma1000 published 24/01/2005
    Definitely quite average. They will need to do something drastic if they don't want to be pushed out be the competition in the future. Puma1000
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Product Information : Debenhams (Department Stores)

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Listed on Ciao since: 14/11/2000