In recent reports it has been clear that Debenhams has fallen short on pre-Christmas sales. We asked our panel to review their opinion of the Debenhams brand, what they think Debenhams are doing well and where they need to improve. Michael, 34, from Norwich described Debenhams as “one of the few High Street brands that I do recommend”.

What are they doing well? Our panel on the whole found Debenhams to stock a great variety of brands housed under one roof, more specifically when it comes to cosmetics and children’s clothing. A number of the panel referred to Debenhams as value for money, particularly the deals and discounts through the Blue Cross Sales. However, many did feel that they did not know what separated Debenhams from their direct competitors, like John Lewis or Marks & Spencer, describing the Debenhams brand as weaker in comparison.

Just under half of the panel commented that they had recently been to their local Debenhams in the run up to Christmas, as there were some great pre-Christmas sales unlike other competing stores. Although the layout of the store was commented on negatively by quite a few members of the panel, Nadine, 32, from Aylesbury commented that the shop “felt a bit cluttered and a bit like a jumble sale, almost TK Maxx style”.

There was a mixed review in terms of the customer service at Debenhams; some stated they had always received great service from at Debenhams. Others commented that the service was not always friendly or helpful; Debbie, 38, from Sale said “I had a problem with something I bought; I came across some very bad customer service, so I vowed to never choose them again. But about a year later they picked up a comment I made on Facebook, and rectified it”.

Watch some responses from our panel.