Debenhams shuts its doors for the last time in Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 08:07 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:28 16 January 2020
Welwyn Garden City’s Debenhams store shut its doors for the last time yesterday.
Debenhams announced the closure of the shop, and 21 others, in April last year, not long after going into administration.
The closure has been of concern to residents who have been worried about what will replace the store.
Many people commenting on social media said they would like a Weatherspoons or a Primark, which are not currently a feature of the town.
Dave is hoping for "a giant Wetherspoons" which Peter agreed with if there were also "smaller retail outlets".
He said, "I feel the days of big retailers in the high streets are a thing of the past.
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"Out of town retail parks [where it is all in one place] are what people seem to want. In town rents are extortionate."
And for some like Tracey either a Spoons or a Primark would do.
Michael thinks it is time to embrace the future, saying "[It] doesn't really matter how people feel about it because it was going to shut any way.
"But I've heard rumours that Lush are trying to buy up certain stores from where Debenhams used to be. How true this is I don't know. But like I said it's just rumours."
A report by chartered surveyors Brasier Freeth revealed the site was offered for rent to 111 companies last year, but there was very little interest.
The report said: "The prospect of this unit becoming and potentially remaining vacant for a prolonged period would have an adverse impact on the overall retail circuit and the vitality and viability of Welwyn Garden City centre."
Following the report, an application was submitted to turn the site into 27 flats - with part of the building kept for retail.
At the time, Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Anthony Dennis suggested the lack of interest from retailers painted a "worrying picture" for the future of the town centre.