New Debenhams to open next month

Great Yarmouth's bid to fight off the threat of out-of-town shopping and target distant communities more used to city malls took a step forward this week with the announcement that Debenhams will open next month.

Great Yarmouth's bid to fight off the threat of out-of-town shopping and target distant communities more used to city malls took a step forward this week with the announcement that Debenhams will open next month.

Retail experts predict that, if successful, quality names like Accessorize and Monsoon will follow in its slipstream taking up vacant units in the £16m extension to the Market Gates precinct.

Debenhams will seal its return to the town on October 31, bringing a raft of designer names helping the town to shrug off its down-at-heel image and improve footfall across the town centre.

Patrick Taylor is the man Debenhams has chosen to co-ordinate its return to Yarmouth and speaking to the Mercury this week he said he was acutely aware the store was moving into a town which had established, popular retailers.


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He said: “The key thing for me is that I want to work closely with other retailers to improve Yarmouth's retail offer and attract more big names. The fact that Debenhams is coming into Yarmouth makes it a more attractive offer meaning people to not have to travel to Norwich.

“There are still units available in the new extension of Market Gates so it is key we perform well and on the back of that get other key brands into the town.”

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The store will have a VIP opening on October 30 with a grand opening to the public on October 31. In peak season Debenhams will employ 104 full and part-time workers, dropping to 70 staff during off-peak periods.

The two-storey shop which offers 18,500sq ft of retail space is beginning to take shape - the fitting rooms are in and work continues on the main shop floors.

The store will house top fashion brands including Julien Macdonald, Jasper Conran, John Rocha and Betty Jackson, catering for women, men and children. There will be a fragrance, bath and body section, lingerie section and footwear as well as women's accessories.

And shoppers can be assured that Debenhams has an experienced man at the helm of its comeback as Mr Taylor has been working for the chain for 18 years.

He started his career working as a Saturday boy in the Ipswich store while completing a degree in business administration at Suffolk College.

The 34-year-old worked his way to the top from the shop floor, working at stores in Suffolk and Essex, and moves to Yarmouth from the Romford store.

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