Debenhams makes its return to the high street with beauty store in Manchester

The department store closed all its bricks-and-mortar locations earlier this year

Kate Ng
Saturday 04 December 2021 21:32 GMT
The department store faces collapse unless it can secure emergency funding
The department store faces collapse unless it can secure emergency funding

Almost exactly a year after shuttering all its department stores, Debenhams has returned to the high street with a store dedicated to beauty products in Manchester.

The new flagship beauty store, which spans two floors and 7,552 sq ft, is located in the Manchester Arndale centre and aims to create a “fresh, modern and unique” destination.

Boohoo Group, which acquired Debenhams’ brand and online presence for £55m in January, said the department store has “harnessed its beloved heritage while rebranding its aesthetic”.

Debenhams pulled the shutters down on hundreds of its stores by mid-May this year, after more than 200 years of trade on high streets in Britain.

After the acquisition, Boohoo relaunched the department store’s website and started selling high-end beauty and fragrance products, including Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and more.

Jeanette Whithear, beauty and homeware director at, told the Retail Gazette: “We are delighted to be opening Beauty store, within the Manchester Arndale, especially as this is the home of the Boohoo Group.

“It feels like an organic location for this exciting retail space, within the heart of the city.

“Since April we have reintroduced multiple brands to, as well as new ones, that have really grown the offering for our customers,” she added.

“With the next step of Beauty journey, I’m excited to see the cross over from our digital and physical elements come to life within the space as well as our range of brands increase dramatically into 2022.”

According to the industry publication, online specialist Boohoo’s goal is for the store to reflect the digital world, with interactive screens in the store that will show real-time postings from social media.

Scott Linard, portfolio director at property group M&G – which owns the Manchester Arndale, said the new store was a “great boost… for bricks and mortar retail and demonstrates that there will continue to be a balance between online and in-person shopping”.

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