Debenhams is launching a campaign to drive traffic to its high street stores this Christmas through offering to pick up the cost of parking when shoppers buy items from its fashion, home, beauty and gifting ranges.

Running until Sunday December 9 the retailer, which has stores across the UK and Ireland, is offering to cover the cost of shoppers’ parking when spending €50 at the Patrick Street store. Pledging to reimburse the cost of two-hour’s parking, the move comes as part of the brand’s mission to make shopping sociable and fun and looks to encourage shoppers to meet with friends and family to ‘mooch’ off their high street store and sample its gifting, food and beauty offer.

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, Joe O’Leary says: “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.”

Debenhams CEO, Sergio Bucher says, “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.”

Over 70 Christmas markets have been created across the estate, offering premium gifting ideas merchandised in festive huts by the recipient’s interest to help shoppers with their search for thoughtful gifts.

The move by the department store chain to boost high street footfall was applauded by retail trading group, SaveTheHighStreet.org. “SaveTheHighStreet.org supports initiatives that help high streets succeed and we are pleased to get behind the Debenhams free parking offer.

“We look forward to hearing what other businesses, local authorities and local champions can do to stimulate footfall on their high streets this Christmas and beyond.

“This is the most transformational period in the history of high streets. High street success impacts everyone and we can all play a role in safeguarding the future we want to live into,” says Alex Schlagman, Founding Partner, SaveTheHighStreet.org.