Debenhams has a good offer from varied collections, but the storefit is showing its age.
- 11-31 North End, Centrale Shopping Centre
Debenhams’ own brands do well to interpret the season’s trends in a way that is accessible to a wide array of shoppers, while also catering for those who aren’t looking for bleeding-edge styles. For example, printed and patterned shorts and tropical floral shirts from Rocha by John Rocha come in toned-down, neutral shades. There are printed T-shirts, lightweight summer anoraks and even touches of camouflage print from Manta Ray, while trend-led prints including ikats, tribal geometrics, paisleys and fun conversationals feature on shirts from Red Herring, alongside a solid offer of basics including preppy polo shirts and simple chinos.
Good pricing architecture means different customers can buy into Debenhams’ own brands at a variety of different levels, but in some cases the higher prices aren’t matched by the level of quality. Printed T-shirts come in around the £22 mark, while chinos and jeans are fair at £40 each, although £80 for a light summer blazer is pushing it. Spring’s lightweight anorak is £65, matching Topman on price but with less style credentials. A slim suit from Red Herring is good value at £99.
Dirty, stained carpets and old fixtures and fittings do let this somewhat tired store down. Debenhams also had one of the biggest Sales seen during this visit, including lots of new-season stock. A fairly annoying tannoy announcement drew attention to these “spring half-price Sales”, added to the cheap-looking signs advertising up to 40% markdowns on product. However, staff were pleasant and on hand to help customers.