Julia is at home at Bedford Debenhams

Published on 03 August 2020

Event in Bedford Town Centre

Former St Thomas More schoolgirl, Julia Horsman, aged 30, is delighted to be in charge of Debenhams in her home town of Bedford.

Julia, who has a retail management degree from Bournemouth University, worked at eight Debenhams stores, including Oxford Street, since joining the company in 2013, but always dreamed of taking over the Bedford branch. That ambition came true in February, but sadly the Covid crisis then hit. The good news now for the town centre is that while other branches have been closed, including the high fashion one in Milton Keynes, Bedford Debenhams is still in business.

Julia fronted the Love Bedford: Open for Business campaign run by the BedfordBID (District Improvement District) and was interviewed on TV and in the Press about the revitalised store on June 15th when lockdown ended.

“We had a great week with lots of customers who were relieved to get back to some sort of normality by visiting their own Bedford Debenhams. Many of them were so glad to see the store reopen, especially since Beales and M&S has gone,” said Julia, whose mum Kathy worked at M&S in the past,

“People do feel an affinity with this department store. We think that in long-standing local families, everyone knows someone who has worked here at one time or another. Many of our staff have been here for decades and are familiar faces.

“I love this town and this store is very personal to me so I want to make the most of it and encourage locals to think of popping and shopping here.

“We have used the social distancing to revamp the store so it feels more open, less jumbled.

“We have also acquired some of the more upmarket stock from Milton Keynes which people will be excited about - and we’ve had some great deals.

“I do take it personally when people post negative stuff on social media about the town and the store. There were problems in the past but the lifts and escalators are now all working - so easier to get up the higher floors.

“There are some exciting developments coming along and we will be sharing those on the Love Bedford social media.”


Love Bedford as much as we do?

Sign-up to receive the occasional email from us about local news, offers, shopping and events! You can unsubscribe at any time.

* indicates required

BedfordBID (Business Improvement District) will never share the information you provide on this form. Confirm that you'd like to hear from us via:

Love Bedford Facebook & Instagram!