Bristol department store Debenhams in line for multi-million pound makeover
ONE of Bristol's biggest and oldest department stores is to get a multi-million makeover.
Debenhams has announced that it is refurbishing its store on the Horsefair this spring.
The news is something of a surprise as it came on the week that the department store issued a profits warning. Shares tumbled in the chain when the news was announced on the stock market.
The high street has suffered a torrid start to the year with a series of high profile names being forced into administration.
The latest victim of the downturn was Dreams – which announced this week it is closing two stores in the Bristol area.
But the multi-million investment by Debenhams is being seen as a demonstration of faith in Bristol city centre.
Although times are tough in the retail sector Bristol city centre is still performing much better than most of its regional rivals.
Visitor numbers and sales in the city centre actually increased in January compared to the same period last year.
The firm said it was demonstrating its commitment to Bristol with the investment.
Work has already started on the renovation and the work is due to be completed by the beginning of June.
The refurbishment work will focus on the ground floor with the cosmetics hall seeing its existing beauty concessions given new shop fits as well as the introduction of new beauty brands Origins and Philosophy.
Existing brand Mac, one of the store's most popular, will have its stand doubled in size. Nautica will be added to the store's menswear offer and concession brand Lipsy will be introduced for women.
The new ranges follow the recent introduction of Ossie Clark London to the store's existing Designers at Debenhams offer, providing designer brands at high street prices. Barratts Shoes will also be introduced.
The store's restaurant will receive an overhaul as part of the makeover.
All store walkways will be widened, new lighting installed and the loos and changing rooms upgraded throughout the store.
There will be a dedicated collect-from-store area, for customers who have ordered products online
Store manager Nick Brand is looking forward to revealing the new-look store to customers later this year.
He said: "The modernisation is all about giving our customers an improved shopping experience and my team and I are confident that customers are going to love the new look. Once complete, the store will really have that wow factor, providing a new visual experience for shoppers."
â Thomas Cook announced this week it is closing hundreds of stores across the UK but The Post understands Bristol will not be affected.