Chesterfield’s new Debenhams store is set to be officially opened next week by one of the town’s designers.
Ashley Thomas, who studied Art and Design at Chesterfield College, will launch the multi-million pound outlet on September 20.
Ashley, whose designs are currently available as part of the Debenhams Edition homeware collection, said: “My friends were all making jokes about me opening the Chesterfield store so it was really funny when I got the call from Debenhams to ask if I would cut the ribbon on the opening day.
“I’m touched to have been asked to welcome the store to my home town. I’m so excited about my newly launched collections for Debenhams, it’s such an amazing feeling knowing that my designs will be available on my doorstep.”
Originally from London, Ashley’s family relocated to Chesterfield in 2001 to run their business, Chesterfield Cattery. Her love of animals can be seen in her playful designs for Debenhams, which include cushions, wall art, lamps and mugs.
Manager Natalie Collins, who has taken control of the 62,000 sq ft department store, said: “We’re thrilled that one of the Debenhams designers will be helping us to open the store on launch day especially as Ashley is a local girl, just like me.” Builders are currently putting the finishing touches to the hotly anticipated outlet, at Ravenside Retail Park.
The Derbyshire Times had a sneak preview of the store which will include a range of designer collections such as H! by Henry Holland, Principles by Ben de Lisi, J by Jasper Conran, Star by Julien Macdonald and Rocha by John Rocha.
An army of mannequins line the shop floor as they wait to be dressed for the grand opening.
Natalie said: “I’m so excited.
“It’s been such a build-up for so long. People are always asking me when it is opening.”
The store will also have a cosmetics hall and cafe
Natalie added: “The team and I have been working hard to get the store ready for launch day and we are all just eager now to get the doors open and start serving customers.
“We can’t wait to show off the new store.”