The company was taken over at the end of last year by a company that owns homebase and other stores (i cant remember which). The gossip amongst workers is that they bought it up to strip debenhams back, make as much money as they can before people realise that debenhams has become crap, and then sell it again. In my particular store, we coined the phrase "The Lidl of department stores", because that's what they seem to be trying to do: Turn it all into "Bargain Bucket, 70% off, reduced to clearence, Bargain land". They have also been making a hell of a lot of redundancies and management restructuring, so most of the superiors are pretty brassed off at the moment. Because of the way the company is going, at lot of people got out of there; i left because i hated the job. It's mundane, repetitive and it generally sucks. If you've never worked in retail before, i strongly advise DO NOT WORK FOR DEBENHAMS. Here's why:
1. Your managers will no doubt be stuck in their dead end job for the rest of their lives. They hate young go-getters at university, who are obviously aiming higher than a department store floor manager. So what they do is exercise their power to get as much pleasure from the job as possible. They make you do all the crap jobs, they dont like you talk to each other (If i could talk to other people, it wouldve made the job much nicer...but the place was So ridiculously understaffed), and if you try and talk back to them, they blow their tops. It's ****ing annoying.
2. The pay is REASONABLE. Sunday pay is even better. But the truth is: people in sainsbury's get paid more. Yes there are a lot of places that pay less, but at just over 5 quid an hour (7 quid on sundays for a full day), it's not worth it considering how much the job sucks. Furthermore you will discover that the payslips are EXTREMELY CONFUSING. It's not clear what you're being paid for, and what money they are taking away from you. That's becuase the managers are computer illiterate so type in all your hours wrongly. In my first year, i was conned out of over 600 quid (and i only work weekends) through bogus taxes which i shouldnt have been recieiving. I had to go through the inland revenue to sort that one out (they said debenhams pull that scam all the time). On top of this, they NEVER put down your overtime, and when you try and get things corrected THEY NEVER DO IT. So by the time i left them, i was some 100 quid out of pocket at least. But it's too much hassle to try and sort it out, because the managers are ******s.
3. All they talk about is "ACCOUNTS ACCOUNTS ACCOUNTS". The debenhams acocunt card is a complete con on the customer, it earns debenhams ridiculous amounts of money (esspecially with cover) cos the interest rates are high. The managers get huge bonuses, and all you get a measly quid per account. And it aint plain money: No, it's "Capital bonds", which are essentially debenhams gift vouchers, which sucks so bad!
4. The job just sucks. Go work somewhere else if you can. I highly recommend a library. They pay exceedingly well (over 6 quid an hour standard rate) and you can SIT DOWN (i couldnt bare standing up) and read books. So keep looking around.
Debenhams is seriously understaffed at the moment - they will no doubt give you the job if you have even a small handful of brain cells. But i strongly advise you don't work there.
Please note that this is only MY OPINION. I am obviously being quite bias because i hate debenhams, but i've tried to be clear with my reasoning!
thanks a lot though, you really gave me some great inside information, so i can be extra wary of my pay-checks if i were to get the job! have some rep!