Debenhams 'manic' as queue snakes around corner for closing down sale

Shoppers braving the Debenham's queue at midday in Norwich

Shoppers braving the Debenham's queue at midday in Norwich - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

As Norwich's huge Debenhams store re-opened to close down on April 12, hundreds happily braced the queue in the early afternoon sunshine.

The line snaked from the Rampant Horse Street entrance round to Red Lion Street, with staff members keeping people apart and orderly.

Shoppers reported waits of around 10-20 minutes with things moving "fairly quickly".

Inside was described as "manic" by Ioana Acrudoae from Watton, who spent two and a half hours browsing sale items and came away with three packed-out shopping bags.

Ioana Acrudoae spent two and a half hours in Debenhams on its first day of re-opening

Ioana Acrudoae spent two and a half hours in Debenhams on its first day of re-opening - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

She waited 10 minutes for entry after arriving bright and early at 9.30am, but said people who came later did have to wait slightly longer.

"The staff are keeping everyone moving quite quickly and there were people coming and leaving all the time.

"Inside was manic - there were people absolutely everywhere. I bought whatever I could get my hands on.

"Some of the sale items were only 40pc off, but when you're getting stuff which is expensive to begin with it ends up being really worthwhile."

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Ms Acrudoae said while she had done a bit of Debenhams shopping online, it would never be the same as the real thing.

"The things I've ordered online were just taking ages to come", she explained. "It's so much nicer just being able to get it in person while we can, rather than waiting a month in the post."

Beccles couple Andrew and Amanda Morling also made good use of the closing down sale.

"We didn't come into town to go shopping specifically", said Mr Morling, "but thought while we were here we might as well have a look.

"I'm the designated driver so I just do what I'm told, but my wife, who is the real shopper, came away with some bargains."

Andrew and Andrea Morling made good use of the bargains in Debenhams as non-essential retail reopened on April 12

Andrew and Andrea Morling made good use of the bargains in Debenhams as non-essential retail reopened on April 12 - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Mrs Morling said despite being busy everything was "very much under control" in the store itself.

"You didn't feel cramped in there, even though there were people everywhere. Everyone was being respectful of each other's distance."

It is expected the store in Orford Place - currently for sale or rent - will reopen for three to five weeks, with 70pc off some items.

After that it will close permanently. The chain was bought out of administration by fashion brand Boohoo in a deal which did not include the retention of staff or stores.

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