Debenhams has confirmed that it will launch its pre-Christmas Spectacular on Wednesday, promising price cuts of £250m, more than the same Spectacular last year.
The department store - which factors in promotions as part of its annual budget - will slash prices by up to 25% for four days from Wednesday as revealed by Drapers.
Six weeks before Christmas, Debenhams will cut prices on tens of thousands of items across all categories in its 150 stores and online.
Debenhams is the first high street retailer to launch a blanket promotion in the run-up to Christmas and has fired the starter gun in the race to get customers shopping in the festive build up.
On the equivalent day last year, Debenhams kicked off a similar Spectacular which offered £200m of price-cuts and lasted for three days before being extended to cover the whole of the following weekend.
Marks & Spencer followed suit with a 20%-off promotion the following day, however, this year, M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose vowed to remain full-price in the run up to Christmas.
Last year, retailers were forced in to a discounting war following a drop-off in consumer spend in the wake of the financial crisis.
Debenhams deputy chief executive Michael Sharp said: “Customers everywhere continue to feel the pinch in this recession. In fact many feel that there still is no light at the end of the tunnel. They want us to reduce prices now, so that’s what our Christmas Spectacular will do.
“With VAT set to increase in the New Year we really are offering January Sale value at a time when shoppers want it most,” added Sharp.
Debenhams will open its stores from 8am until midnight on Wednesday and Thursday and from 9am to 10pm on Friday and am to 7pm on Saturday.
Sharp added: “We know that, at times like these, every penny counts, so we’re acting now to provide the Christmas value that our customers need.”
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