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Monday, April 22, 2024
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Remembering Debenhams in Harrow

Debenhams in Harrow was a big deal to those who knew it well, like me.

Although the store first opened in the 1960s, many of us will remember the store from our own childhood in the 1980s and 90s, which is where we take a look today.

So let’s start at the front! – walking in, you’d be hit with a wave of perfume from the beauty section right at the entrance. It was a nice welcome and there were lots of different options.

Beauty and lifestyle was what the chain was all about and you could sense this as soon as you walked through those big glass doors.

Remembering Debenhams in Harrow Harrow Online
The former Debenhams taken over by The Landmark, which has now also gone!

The place in the store the kids loved the most was the toy and gaming section however, either on the second or third floor. I can’t quite remember which one, but it was hard to forget the big talking tree there!. It felt like it was straight out of a storybook, chatting away as you passed by.

For gamers, it was a dream spot. There was this cool stand with four sides, each packed with the latest: Super Nintendo, Sega Mega Drive, NES, and Sega Master System. It was where you’d find me and my friends, glued to the screens. I vividly remember someone telling me that they had clocked Super Mario World on the SNES despite the fact it was only released the week prior.

The spot it was occupied in also included a GAME store in its later years, around the mid 00s. If memory serves me correctly, this did not last long, however.

Debenhams had two ways in and out, but inside, it felt like its own world. The escalators seemed to be from another time, never changing, always there to take you from floor to floor. I don’t think he’s actually changed in its entire existence for the 1960s to its closure.

There was also this cozy café inside. It was perfect for a full English breakfast, especially after a long morning of shopping. And come Christmas, the place transformed. There was always a Santa around for the kids and decorations that made the whole store feel festive.

Remembering Debenhams in Harrow Harrow Online
Here you can see the bus stop outside the old Debenhams building in Station Road, Harrow. Credit: Jan Clark

I was really sad when Debenhams closed down a few years back. It was a part of Harrow for so long. Right across from it was a Wimpy, another favorite spot of mine. Together, they made shopping in Harrow something special.

Debenhams might be gone, but those memories of hanging out, shopping, and just being there are still strong. It was more than just a store to many of us.

Read more articles from Harrow’s past, click here