Debenhams in Eastbourne is offering to pick up the cost of parking when Christmas shoppers buy their presents at the store.
In a campaign to drive traffic to its high street stores this festive season, the department store in Terminus Road is offering to cover the cost of customers’ parking when spending £50.
Debenhams is offering to reimburse the cost of two hours of parking in the scheme which runs until Sunday (December 9).
Customers simply produce a photo or ticket at the till point as proof of parking for the cost of two hours parking to be deducted from goods purchased.
Store manager, Nathan Wake, said, “We want to encourage shoppers to come and not only ‘do a bit of Debenhams’ but also meet with friends and family and get into the Christmas spirit by seeing everything that is going on along their high street.
“We hope that by taking away the pain of a parking ticket that we’ll do our bit to encourage shoppers to hit the high street and rediscover their joy of shopping.”
And Debenhams CEO, Sergio Bucher said, “If we want to retain thriving high streets in our communities, retailers must keep working hard to entice shoppers over the threshold and make shopping in store more exciting.
“Debenhams will be getting shoppers into the festive mood with Christmas markets and other seasonal in store experiences including 70 pop up food and drink offers.
“By taking away the pain of a parking ticket we hope to encourage shoppers to come and not only ‘do a bit of Debenhams’ but also meet with family and friends and rediscover everything that is going on along their high street.”
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “This is excellent news. My thanks go to Debenhams for providing a real incentive to come into Eastbourne town centre and do your Christmas shopping.”
According to a Debenhams spokesperson, the high street has faced immense pressure and unprecedented change over the past year with 40 per cent of motorists admitting to avoiding the high street due to parking prices.
Studies have found that nine in ten would visit their high streets more if free parking was on offer as the cost that car owners’ face on parking takes its toll.
The provision of free parking has been detailed by many commentators as a key lever to get shoppers back on their high streets.
High Street Minister, Jake Berry said previously that ‘having short periods of free parking is something that can bring people back into high streets’, adding, “It is absolutely incumbent on all of us to go out and support high street. There is nothing greater than the Great British high street. It is a huge community asset for our nation.”
Debenhams #doabit of free parking scheme operates across the full store estate, more information and full terms and conditions can be found here.