Debenhams Reveals Holidaymakers Wear Their Luggage To Pocket The Savings

Debenhams has revealed budget flight passengers escaping the British weather are picking the pockets of airlines thanks to a loophole in the baggage rules.

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Rather than pay expensive charges for stowing suitcases in the hold of the plane, canny holidaymakers are using their free hand luggage allowance and “wearing” the rest of their baggage, according to fashion retailer Debenhams, who have seen sales rise of coats and jackets with multiple pockets by as much as 135% over the holiday period.

After cramming what would be excess baggage into pockets, customers could gain a whopping ten pounds to their original body weight; saving themselves from the extortionate fees.

Debenhams is putting the new trend down to reports from the shop floor that customers prefer to pack heavier items such as books, cameras and electronic net books, into large pocketed garments, rather than pay fees up to £40 return, charged by some low-cost airlines for cases stowed in the hold.

As a result sales of Debenhams J by Jasper Conran jacket with seven pockets have gone up by 135% and the Maine New England parka jacket which has six pockets has also seen sales leap by 29%.

Research found that the biggest sales of the multi pocket jackets came from Leeds, London, Newcastle and Aberdeen, closely followed by Dublin.

Vicky Hewitt, spokeswoman for Debenhams, said: “Our sales assistants have even reported some customers coming in with specific items like net-books and paperbacks, to check if they will fit in the pockets before they buy the coat or jacket.

“With the right jacket and trouser combo you can gain up to 11 handy pockets to tuck away holiday essentials; but beware when reaching into pockets so those extra undies aren’t spotted on the floor of Terminal 5.”

Passengers can pay dearly for going over the luggage weight limits, for instance BMI charges £7 per kg, Thomson up to £15 per kg and Ryanair £20 per kg, for excess baggage.

Multi-pocket jackets available at Debenhams include: J by Jasper Conran grey jacket with seven pockets; Maine New England taupe short parka jacket with six pockets; and Red Herring four pocket plum quilted jacket.

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Debenhams Launches Size 16 Mannequins

Debenhams has announced that size 16 mannequins will appear in its windows in a trial to gain feedback from customers to see if they like the idea.

Like most retailers Debenhams currently uses standard size 10 mannequins in all its window displays. However the majority of women in the UK are either a 14 or 16.

Signage next to the mannequins, which will be wearing the recently launched Principles by Ben de Lisi range, will ask customers ‘I’m a size 16, do you want to see more of me?’

Debenhams stocks up to size 26 in its womenswear department, and a huge 42% of sales come from size 14 and 16 garments.

Debenhams Head of Creative, Mark Stevens commented: “We are proud to offer a broad and varied choice for women of all ages, shapes and sizes in store. So we thought we should reflect this in our window displays. If it’s popular with customers we would love to roll it out.”

Susan Ringwood, Chief Executive of charity Beat, which lends help to people with eating disorders and their families, voiced her support for Debenhams’ trial. She said: “Women often feel it is their fault that clothes don’t look as good on them as they do in the shop window, so we congratulate Debenhams on taking this initiative.”

Mark Fast caused waves when he sent size 12 and 14 models down his catwalk last London Fashion Week, and gorgeous size 16 model Crystal Ren has had a huge impact on the fashion industry recently.

The window, which celebrates a realistic interpretation of the British female physique, was unveiled at Debenhams’ Oxford Street branch in February. The size 16 mannequins can be seen in the newly launched Principles by Ben De Lisi window as well. The initiative will be later rolled out across the country, again to get feedback from customers.

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Burton announce VAT price reductions will be passed on to all customers from the 1st December

Following The Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling’s decision to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has released a statement on behalf of a group of the high street’s most powerful retailers, confirming they will pass the full VAT cut onto their customers.

The change in the VAT rate will mean huge changes for all the shops in the Arcadia group, as all shelving and register prices will need to be updated. However, Burton, Arcadia, Mosaic Fashions, Bhs, Marks & Spencer, New Look and Next all confirmed in the statement they planned to pass the 2.5% VAT cut on to customers on Monday, or soon afterwards.

The group of retailers covers some of the biggest names on the high street, including; Topshop, Topman, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Bhs, Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen, Warehouse, Principles, Shoe Studio Group, Jane Norman, New Look and Next fascias.

The statement by Sir Philip said: “Following the recent announcement reducing VAT from 17.5% to 15%, equating to a price reduction of 2.13%, we are pleased to confirm that it is our intention to pass the benefit of this reduction onto our customers.”

The price reduction will be given on standard rated product and will be applied on, or as soon after Monday December 1 as possible.

The statement added that this would, “allow for the complexities of implementing the changes required.”

It is unclear how the price cuts will be implemented, however many retailers are expected to take off the discount at the till point rather than by re-ticketing stock.

For Burton, all mens clothing, mens suits and mens accessories will be adjusted at point of purchase as of 1st December 2008.

About Burton
Burton has a long history in men’s clothing and fashion, having been founded in 1903 by Montague Burton in Chesterfield. Burton now has over 400 outlets all over the UK and Ireland making it one of the country’s largest sellers of casual and formal menswear, including mens shirts, jeans, jackets, knitwear, shorts, shoes, underwear and accessories.

Customers can also shop online from the Burton.co.uk website which offers free returns in-store or by post and fast delivery to their home.

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