Debenhams opens in Watford with a store of the future


Debenhams opened on the 27th September 2018 in Watford, which starts the new phased opening of the £180 million extension to the Intu Shopping Centre. The crowds were out in force for the opening, at around 10am there were around 2000 people queuing around the block, one lady was there at 4.30am!

Some 2000+ people queued to get in

The ribbon was cut by celebrity fashion designer Julien Macdonald OBE, and community hero Megan Bowyer. Megan who was picked by local people as a community hero. She had an accident at age 7 which caused a massive brain haemorrhage that left her with a permanent disability. Megan is an inspiration to people by overcoming her disabilities and works for a charity helping other disabled people find work.

Megan Bowyer & Julien Macdonald OBE cut the ribbon

Intu Shopping Extension

After all the chaos in the town with the building work, it’s great to see light at the end of the tunnel. The town is looking amazing, over the next couple of weeks check out my Instagram for some of the latest pics. Its taken 3 years to build the new part to Intu shopping Centre and has transformed the middle of the town centre into a better shopping experience. Debenhams is the first store to open, the rest will follow in the next couple of months, with the 9 screen IMAX cinema due in December. I love the new design, I was thinking it wasn’t going to work with all the different colour schemes on the outside. But it certainly does, the glass canopy looks amazing and will become an icon in Watford.

Intu Shopping Centre – New extension

Debenhams new look

The new Debenhams store is over 3 levels and has 86,000 square feet of store space. It is also the first Debenhams in the country to have Debenhams Beauty Hall of the Future should be a hit with all the beauty fans. Also its the first store to have a Gin bar, but its only open during the store opening hours. Debenhams’ boss Sergio Bucher called the new flagship shop in Watford the “department store of the future” hoping to beat the drop in the sales that a lot of department stores are experiencing recently.

Gin bar

New brands

The ribbon was cut at 10am and celebrity DJ Ashley James entertained the crowds as the doors were opened.

DJ Ashley James

Over the weekend there will be a glam squad giving out beauty samples, free mini beauty treatments, and the exclusive ‘Kielhs on Wheels’ van parked outside the store. There’ll also be free express treatments from Blow LTD, and a free Benefit brow tint with every wax. Debenhams Beauty Club members can enjoy an exclusive up weighted beauty sample box with a free tote bag. There will also be one-on-one sessions with Dior regional Makeup Artist Adam Sidwell over the weekend, perfect for learning the pro tips and tricks and latest makeup trends.

Loaf & Bloom – Restaurant

Loaf & Bloom restaurant is nicely designed with a welcoming feel, it’s great that they have added USB ports on the tables for the charging your devices. On the first day that I went, I ordered some lunch which was reasonably priced, it did take a long time to come, but some teething problems are to be expected. The food tasted delicious and was cooked to perfection, they have a breakfast and lunch menu.

Healthy fish finger lunch

I managed to go round the store before it opened and I will add a video on this blog in the next couple of days. But to see more photographs check out my Flickr and Instagram, links below.

My verdict on the store is that it gives Debenhams a better look, and with all the interactive parts gives a reason to make shoppers come into the store. I love the layout/design and I like that there are lots more staff who are knowledgeable about their area. If you are in the area check Debenhams out, they certainly give out a better atmosphere. What do you think? Leave your comments below if you enjoyed the experience.

Opening Photos

Home furnishings

Home furnishings

Candy Kittens

Hello Watford

Inside Debenhams

Costa opens in store

Gin bar


Debenhams Watford –
Intu Shopping Centre –
Instagram –
Flickr –



Welcome to my newsletter signup, each month I will be doing a list of events to visit in and around London / Watford that may be of interest to you. Plus I will be doing a round up of the blog stories that you may have missed during the previous month.