Debenhams Sheffield: Ideas for landmark shop building include 'high end' store and demolition to create park

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Suggestions have been made for how this former Sheffield department store could be redeveloped

It has been closed for four years - but it could be turned into high end department store or knocked down to become a park, believe some.

Those are the views of Sheffield residents and workers who are keen for a use to be found for the former Debenhams department store at the top of The Moor.

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The building closed on May 14, 2021, after the famous retail chain folded, and plans for a second-hand market and space for makers and craftspeople fell through earlier this year.

Slightly over four years on from its closure, The Star went out to find out what Sheffield residents would like to see the store turned into.

And although there was a range of ideas, most of those we spoke to outside the former shop still want to see it back in retail use.

But Kay Russell, from Hillsborough, wants to see the building go altogether.

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Kay RussellKay Russell
Kay Russell | National World

She told The Star: “Personally, I think things like the Pounds Park development are lovely and if we don’t need any more new buildings, in the city centre, flatten it and make it a public park space. That would be a great resource.”

Pauline Cooper, from Ecclesall, said she would like to see it changed back into a high end department store, of the type John Lewis was. “I think that’s lacking in town,” she said.

Her husband, Tim added: “I’m not convinced. There’s been ideas for having at as a load of food halls and things like that. I’m not sure there’s enough market for that because it’s spreading around the centre of town. I think probably what we’re really missing is something like a department store like Coles was. If I was going to wave a magic want, I’d turn it back into a department store.”

Jon Morris, of South Anston, said it should be redeveloped in some form for retail.

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Jon Morris would like to see retailJon Morris would like to see retail
Jon Morris would like to see retail | National World

He said: “A large department store nowadays has so many problems competing with the likes of Amazon. It’s difficult to know if it could re-open as one store. A series of stores is always possible, I hope. I always think that Sheffield city centre struggles competing with Meadowhall, but that type of idea there is a possibility.”

Lisa Bell, of Hillsborough said: “I’d like another department store. Something like Debenhams. It’s a shame Harvey Nicks? Something like they’ve got in Leeds.

Fatema Harbi, of Pitsmoor, said: “Something that people can go in and have a look in. It used to be a really good, Debenhams.”

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Christine Biggs, of Fulwood, said: “Well, it’s such a shame that it’s been empty for so long, so I think that it would benefit from some really good quality bars and restaurants. Bring more people into this area of the centre. It’s not bad for buses etcetera to get to, public transport is very, very good .

“But it wants to be occupied and updated I think because it looks quite old and tired.”

Richard Etches, from Rotherham, works in Sheffield city centre. He would also like to see something ‘high end’ there, like Flannels.

Richard Etches favours high end retail. Photo: National WorldRichard Etches favours high end retail. Photo: National World
Richard Etches favours high end retail. Photo: National World | National World

He said: “I think it needs something that going to bring more people to the high street.

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“There are clothing places, but not really like something that caters towards the menswear. Maybe a big sports department.

“There’s a lot of eating places but not many that people can go and buy clothing, not that much variety.”

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