Bosses at a shopping centre say they are “committed” to finding a new retailer to fill a key store in Lichfield city centre.

The Debenhams store in Lichfield

The sale of Debenhams to Boohoo will see the company’s physical stores close – including the one at the Three Spires Shopping Centre.

The news will be a blow to Lichfield’s retail landscape, with Debenhams having taken on the store in 2013 following the demise of TJ Hughes.

Lisa Prokopiou, centre manager at Three Spires Shopping, said work was already taking place to secure a new business to occupy the unit.

“Following the recent sale to Boohoo, Debenhams have made the difficult decision to close their high street stores, this includes the one at Three Spires.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the hardworking and dedicated team at Debenhams for providing customers with exemplary service for many years, we wish them all the best for the future.

“We are fully committed to bringing great names to the centre and will continue to explore potential opportunities for the unit.”

Lisa Prokopiou, Three Spires Shopping Centre

The Debenhams store had been closed as part of the coronavirus lockdown and there is currently no confirmation on whether or not it will temporarily reopen to sell off remaining stock.

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28 Comments

  1. I can see that being a pretty big challenge given Cannock Retail outlet gathering pace. We need to face the fact that Lichfield is not a retail destination and that the city centre business district is going to shrink.

  2. Seen the comments on this here and on Facebook and am absolutely baffled by how naive some people are. If big brands thought Lichfield city centre was an attractive option they’d already be here. Remember, Friarsgate secured very little other than a patisserie and a couple of restaurants in more than 10 years, leading to its failure ultimately.

    As for people suggesting an indoor market, I assume they’ll be employing someone to come and service their carriages and sweep their chimneys too?

  3. Maybe an old-fashioned concept, but we could do with an INDOOR MARKET. People of ‘a certain age’ aren’t going to be able to buy clothes anywhere but in charity shops, so a market might meet this need?

  4. M&S would be a fantastic asset to Lichfield, with a food hall occupying the ground floor and fashion and home the other two floors. Lichfield needs quality!! It’s worth every square foot of upmarket goods.

  5. M&S food is greatly missed in Lichfield and this building would be ideal, also possibly incorporating cafeteria facilities on the upper floor. There is a car park facility on site – absolutely ideal.

  6. M&S already confirmed for streethey next to station?

    Please please please not Primark, not tk max, not Poundland, not Asda etc. They’re all trash. We have charity shops, tattoo parlors, vape shops, naff coffee shops, cheap clothing stores. Bring something decent or knock it down and have green space. Make Lichfield standout from the cr*p of Burton, Tamworth, Stafford.

  7. How many brands can fill a store of that size? Marks and Spencer have already shown their commitment to the precinct by closing the food hall store, B&M already have a town centre store, the Arcadia group is no more. Unfortunately we don’t have the climate to do anything that involves the outdoors evening economy. We have a number of existing gyms so it’s unlikely to be repurposed for leisure use. After the Friarsgate fiasco I should imagine every cinema operator has blacklisted Lichfield. I have to admit I’m pretty stumped and I wish There Spires good luck in filling this and the numerous other empty units.

  8. I’ve been told that as a ‘Fair Trade’ city Primark would not be allowed. Correct me if I’m wrong. As some have said what retailer could or would take on such a big store these days. It’s too big a space for an indoor market and there are many examples of the demise of such places i.e. Cannock, Stafford.
    Lichfield is so lacking in indoor places for families and friends to have fun together. How about Three Spires think right outside the box and turn it into some sort of leisure facility i.e. (the usual suspects) bowling alley, cinema which were once on the plans of the now debunked Friarsgate development.

  9. I would love to know what “Three Spires bosses” do on a day to day?

    Seems the centre has lost an awful lot of shops, it’s grim, run down and out of date.

    Instead of holding out for big pay-days and seeing the likes of M&S up-sticks, perhaps this mis-management could employ some people to come up with some fresh ideas to attract other retailers that don’t fit into the bargain bucket of shops, or see the benefit of not charging crippling ground rents when the retail sector is already on its knees.

    An empty shop pays nothing.

  10. As others have pointed out, what’s the point in name-checking national retailers. If we could attract the sort of companies being mentioned on here then Friarsgate would have been built and open by now. Lichfield needs a new USP, not fruitless attempts to become yet another soulless shopping centre with the same old names. You can go to Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Burton, Stafford etc for that. What Lichfield really needs is a bit of flair, creativity and imagination from those within the council charged with sorting the city centre out – but there’s as much chance of getting John Lewis to open up in the old Debenhams as there is of finally looking to create a long-term, sustainable answer for Lichfield city centre with this council in charge.

  11. Amazon are looking to open stores across the country…

    https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2020/08/03/amazon-go-to-launch-in-uk-by-2021-as-it-enters-talks-to-open-30-stores/

    Considering we have a large fulfilment warehouse in Rugeley, it would seem a sensible place for a store.

    The fact that the Debenhams store wasn’t in the first, second or third wave of closures suggests that footfall was good (better than other places) so it might have just enough appeal.

  12. Trentham has loads of unusual shops. They are small but they are different. Could something be done along those lines to encourage shoppers back to Lichfield. Beautiful city but let down by lack of diverse shops.

  13. There’s simply nowhere in Lichfield selling mid-range clothes for men. It’s either the cheap tat of Peacocks or the Alan Partridge stuff at the three independents.

  14. There’s no point in making Lichfield the same as anywhere else around. Cannock and Tamworth now have large shopping centres, plus loads of tarmaced ringroads enough to drive you crazy (apologies for the pun). Just trying to find your way around them is mind boggling. You’re lucky if you are able to find your way into the right lanes when necessary. Don’t think I’ll be trying that again. @Scott Armstrong, I agree with you. And @P, “Bring something decent or knock it down and have green space”. Now that is a different perspective. A place for people to rest, relax and congregate away from the “madding” crowded shopping places. Like a sanctuary. Leave Primark to those larger centres, (how long will that Empire survive anyway. Empires come and go). Some niche shops, some eateries, small shops supplying that which isn’t available in towns nearby. It’s the “green space” proposition that sounds attractive and is very very different. I don’t consider tattoo parlours niche though. How many do you need. Residents and visitors would have a place where they can sit and enjoy life. If the disused railway lines were to be used for walking and biking, with the canal walks and possible future canal “life”, Lichfield could become the place to live and for visitors seeking to use these facilities. A “hub” of life and living. Life isn’t all about shopping.

  15. Would love to see a Dunelm store open up as Burton, Erdington and Nuneaton are a bit of a trek and Next Homeware at Venturer can be a bit expensive at times.

  16. Megan
    I would love to see a green area bus station side of the City, along with a new leisure centre which would be built on ” Brown field site” instead of the proposed use of “Green belt” land and the loss of a football pitch, but our so called leaders have other ideas, I hope that houses on that site is the not the only answer, that fill the council coffers

  17. I heard sometime last year that M&S was considering a food hall at the old GKN building by Trent Valley station. Why not create a giant food hall in the Debenham building. Perhaps make it like Self ridges, where there’s lots of mini restaurants on each floor. That would attract loads of people and should be feasible without major adjustments to the building. Wont happen of course as Lichfield councillors are all 90 years old and hate anything modern so they’d never allow it.

  18. Woody I agree with your suggestions and there really is no excuse for the loss of a football pitch or a small patch of green space. (I am lucky as a result of good planning I have a small play park right opposite my house for which I am extremely grateful. It is so wonderful to see the children with their parents enjoying it, children running about, on their bikes and scooters and suchlike engaging in healthy exercise. They love it at the same time getting rid of excess energy. Lifts the spirit so to see it). Any green area within the city or as you say Woody Green Belt land should remain. Of course football isn’t a middle or upper class sport is it? Rhetorical question. Not like cricket, rugby or golf. I met a young lad about 11 years old or so out on his bike just a couple of months ago or so. He was from an ethnic minority background. He told me he would rather be playing football, his favourite game. He sounded so passionate. Having once been involved with a football club I understand the criticism of racism about some working class supporters but not all working class supporters are racists. And the clubs should be doing something about those who are anyway. The fact is racists are found in all walks of life as I am sure you will know! Football should include anyone who enjoys the game and wants to play regardless of race, colour, gender, sex or age. Just goes to show that football is a diverse sport when it is made available to any one interested. The fact is the current crop of decision makers involved in and with LDC appear to be blinkered. One track minded, unable to think outside the box. I have read of some really good ideas in the comments sections of Lichfield Live News reporting, inspirational ideas and suggestions made by the general public who are the people on the ground at the grass roots level. These are the people of interest who should be involved in the decision making. Not those for whom it is only a job or a political position. Thank you for your perspective Woody. I respect your input. @Tracy I am sure a suitable space could be found for a Dunhelm hahaha. @Dan Dee I’m sure there would also be a niche spot for your menswesr hahaha.

  19. I need to add, as one commentator did, that it would be so good to have the old railway track to Walsall made for walking and bike rides if at all possible. The Revolution is green and healthy and this would be such a wonderful way of encouraging that kind of lifestyle. The same goes for Burntwood and other outlying areas that have been ignored to date somehow with similar routes created All outer lying towns forming part of and necessary as part the wheel of the green roots revolution.

  20. Debenhams opened the Store in Lichfield in 2012. I for one have only bought one item from there in that time. Sale item. Most shoppers used the store as a short cut walk through to the Multi Storey. This Outlet like so many that have disappeared DP. Bon Marche, and soon New Look etc have lost their appeal with overpriced items.Please no more eateries, coffee shops and charity shops. Our Beautiful City is a shambles. M&S food yes.absolute No No to their clothing range. Lacks imagination.

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