Shoppers have been picking up bargains at up to 70 per cent off this morning after Debenhams reopened for its closing down sale.
A huge queue formed at the entrance to Debenhams inside The Potteries Centre this morning as it reopened under Step Two of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The high street retailer previously announced it would be closing for good, but that its stores would reopen on April 12 for a massive clearance sale.
All Debenhams stores will start to close permanently from May 2, with the stock clearance completed and final stores expected to close by May 15.
Eager shoppers queued at the entrance to the store, in Hanley, waiting to get their hands on a bargain this morning.
Customers were pictured wearing masks and adhering to the two metre social distancing rule.
Queues also formed outside Pandora, JD Sports, Superdrug, H&M and Primark.
What bargains did we spot in the Debenhams closing down sale?
Among those browsing the bargains in the closing down sale was lifelong customer Sarah Ryles.
The 46-year-old, from Weston Coyney said: “I’ve managed to get a lot of good bargains, I’ve bought a bag, two dresses and a top all for £62. It’s good value.
“But I’m very sorry to see Debenhams go from Stoke-on-Trent. Before it was Debenhams its was Lewis’s and I would come here with my parents, then I came to Debenhams with my children and now they are adults themselves.
“The store is over three levels so I don’t know what will happen to it. I just hope Hanley can find something to go in its place, it’s so important to keep the town going.
“I gulped when I saw that Topshop had gone now and the other Arcadia stores, but I will really miss Debenhams.
“It was great because you could get so many different brands in there. Like today I got a bag and dress from Oasis, a dress from Principles and a top from Julien Macdonald.
“My parents have a Debenhams card and they could get a free coffee when they visited, but sadly that has gone now. Covid-19 has a lot to answer for.
“It’s completely changed the dynamic of the city centre. People my age and older love shopping because there’s something social about it and I used to love Debenhams at Christmas.
“If you had a special occasion, you could always find something in Debenhams. I had wedding presents from there as well. It’s got a lot of memories for people.”
Jean Jones, aged 73, from Bucknall, said: “I’m gutted it’s closing, it’s my favourite store. I’ve been shopping there for years.
“It was one of the last shops up here for clothes because I’m not a Primark person, it’s more for young people and at 73 I don’t go shopping in there.
“I used to love BHS as well, everywhere seems to be closing and it’s a shame. It’s just M&S left now.
“I did manage to get some good bargains in the sale though. I saw a set of pans that were half price £50 down from £110.”
Donna Twigge and Jill Bailey also hit the Debenhams sale.
Donna, aged 58, from Fenton, said: “It’s very sad, we’re going to miss it because it was one of the best shops up here. I still can’t believe it.
“I managed to get a jacket for myself and half price Levis t-shirt for my son. It was a nice atmosphere in Debenhams and you could get everything in there.
“If you wanted something for a special occasion you could get designer dresses from Phase 8, but now we will probably have to go to Manchester for things like that.”
Jill Bailey, aged 61, from Fenton, added: “I feel sorry for the workers. It’s terrible, we have been going in for years and you see the same people there and it must be heartbreaking for the people losing their jobs.”
Top stories from the Stoke-on-TrentLive newsletter today
Not signed up to the newsletter? Try it out here
And sign up here