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Debenhams: At the heart of Aberdeen shopping for 36 years

Always innovative, Debenhams created a stir when it opened on New Year's Day in 2004.
Always innovative, Debenhams created a stir when it opened on New Year's Day in 2004.

Debenhams has been at the heart of shopping in Aberdeen for more than 36 years.

The department store was the key tenant and flagship of The Trinity Centre when the shopping mall threw open its doors on October 12 1984, offering Granite City shoppers a new retail experience.

This photo from 1983 shows the £20m-plus Trinity Centre taking shape shopping centre, ready to house a Debenhams department store and almost 30 shopping units.

There was real excitement at the time over the prospect of having a Debenhams on Union Street, courtesy of the glittering new mall.

Debenhams was one of the big names on the UK’s High Streets, tracing its history to 1778 when William Clark established a drapers store at 44 Wigmore Street in London’s West End selling expensive fabrics, bonnets, gloves and parasols.

Debenhams was able to draw big crowds, as can be seen in this 2008 photo of shoppers take advantage of the sales and late opening hours at Debenhams.

Over the decades, Debenhams became one of the most popular stores, drawing people in from across the north-east – as well as some famous faces along the way – and was always looking for innovative ways to attract customers.

We have opened our archives to take a look at some special moments from Debenhams over the years.

John Inman got behind the kitchen counter at Debenhams houseware department in 1985. He was appearing at His Majesty’s Theatre in Why Not Stay for Breakfast? Store demonstrator Kathleen Duncan gave him a cooking lesson.

It was a magic time for the youngsters who attended the Christening Party for the Cabbage Patch Kids at Debenhams store in Aberdeen in 1985.

Model Nicola McLean, who appeared in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, created a stir when she was in Aberdeen to launch the new Ultimo shop in Debenhams in 2008.

Santa’s grotto was always a big draw for little ones visiting Debenhams. Here, four-year-old Matthew Drysdale tells Father Christmas what he wants, back in 1995.

Debenhams was always a keen supporter of local charity. Here Sarah Thomson, left, and Samantha Kirby, right, are pictured in 2001 with sculpted ice eagle, that was a centrepiece at the Children 2000 fund-raising cosmetics evening in 2001.

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