back to article Debenhams wows shoppers with free delivery offer

Those of you wishing to take advantage of Debenhams' Summer Spectacular 25 per cent off e-commerce consumer frenzy will be delighted to learn that the store is offering an added incentive for punters to flash the plastic on the interwebs: Free delivery when you collect from store, declares Debenhams website Nice one. …


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  1. Basic


    Novatech got this right - You can order online and then just turn up at the shop and wave your card for verification - the hardware is already waiting for you. At least the Novatech approach comes in handy when you need something in a hurry - Te Debenhams version just seems inane

    1. Professor Tinklepants

      All Hail Mighty Novatech!

      Superb site - never had occasion to visit their block-and-motar store but their online service is amazing!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    "new" indeed.

    I cant think of any response other than LOL. Seriously (or should that be srlsly)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Didn't Argos get there ages ago too?

    Folk connected to t'Internerd can order pretty much anything that Argos sell, even things that the local tiny Argos Cupboard or whatever they're called don't stock, and have it delivered from Argos Central to their doorstep, for the cost of carriage. Or alternatively they can have it delivered to the local Argos and collect it from there (e.g. for those in the 98% of the population that are never in when the delivery man calls). That scheme's been around a year or three. I'm not yet seeing a newsworthy difference between that and the Debenhams concept in the article, can anyone help?

    1. madferret
      Thumb Up

      Not news

      and with Argos, you don't pay until you get to the shop! But how is this news? Argos have done it for ages, Boots and M&S have introduced it in the last 12 months. It's a good idea, as it costs the companies less - they have to send delivery vehicles to shops anyway - and you're not having to collect all those "sorry you weren't in" delivery cards.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Missing the point?

      I think you're missing the point of the story. It's not like you even need you irony detector switching on. The story points out that Debenhams have implemented a system that is way more complicated than it needs to be and is selling as a major win. If you can't detect the scathing nature of the article then you probably shouldn't be reading The Register.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Have I missed something here...?

    "new collect from store delivery option means you can now place an order online at for delivery to your local store"

    So, how is this different from phoning the store, asking them if they have what you want, ordering it or reserving it and then turning up to collect it..?

    1. Test Man
      Thumb Up


      I thought that too... but it's different in the sense that the online store is likely to have different items from your local store. For them, they don't have to send trucks out to individual addresses, but instead it gets delivered to the store as part of the regular deliveries.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Not just Novatech, I thought any sensible web-aware trading organisation did this kind of thing these days. e.g. Comet and PC World both allow you to order stuff online, pay web prices, and collect it from the shop shortly afterwards (subject to stock, obviously).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Or not

      In the case of PC World's Business section a couple of years ago. The item I wanted was a few quid cheaper (but not a web only price) with them so I called the City of London store a mile away to ask them to hold one for collection. Not in stock, I was told, but they could order one from the warehouse which I could collect the next day, which sounded fine. The only caveat, I was told - with evident embarrassment - was that I would have to pay a ten quid delivery charge for it to be delivered to the store, where I could collect it, as in the same 'one size fits all' ten quid delivery charge I'd have paid to have the thing delivered to the office. Given that the delivery was the same price as the item, I declined and haven't wasted my time on them since.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not news

    This is hardly news, it's the norm for high street clothing retailers (a fact which I'm sadly over-familiar with, being a little taller than average and thus having to order almost all of my clothes online just to try them on - why should I have to pay to try clothes on just because I'm tall? - because no-one actually bothers stocking the larger sizes).

    It's even dafter if you shop with Next. If you go to the store and place an order for something to be delivered at home, you pay less for delivery than you do if you order it online. (But then they have two whole separate stock bases - many's the time that the lowly-stocked large sizes are either out of stock online but available via in-store ordering or vice versa, resulting in an absurd ordering/delivery/collection process).

    1. nibs

      @ AC - Not News

      Dear AC,

      being of the slightly taller variety myself i know exactly where you are coming from !! trying to order a pair of trousers / jeans etc from Next can be a nightmare - M&S are just as bad - they hardly have any stock of the "extra long" trousers.... and don't even get me started on their p*ss poor range of shirts with extra long sleeves and body... would you like blue or blue...?

      However, i guess we shouldn't grumble too much... they might both go back to only supplying the standard 33 1/3" leg lengths... i couldn't go back to wearing trousers that stop on the ankle.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    ..I belive Tesco's used to (may still do) charge you to deliver Tesco Direct stuff to your nearest store.

    Then again so do the Post Office i.e. if you want an item delivered to your Post office, instead of having it mangled through the letter box / left on door step / not delivered at all.

  8. Anon the mouse

    Asda have been doing this for ages

    Check out their main page.

  9. Velv

    Debehams FAIL

    The crazy part (and total fail) is that Debenhams online store ships the goods from their warehouse to the store when you order. It isn't connected to the store stock, so nothing smart happening. Might as well get the item delivered to your neighbour or office.

    The sensible extension would be to do a deal with someone who has a street presence where there ISN'T a Debenhams store (e.g. the Post Office), and deliver there for collection.

  10. Is it Friday yet?

    Completely Missing The Point

    I think you lot are missing the point that Lester was making:

    "So, you've saved yourself the standard £3.99 delivery charge, and just have to physically go to Debenhams to pick up your purchase."

    "Yes indeed, an entirely effortless process which should prove highly popular."

    To save £3.99 you have to get yourself to the store..Other than walking, most forms of transport cost..Add to that the need to prove your identity, not just have the email verification..

    And finally how does the initial "free delivery if you collect it" really appeal...It comes across as "if you come to the store for it delivery is free".....No sh1t Sherlock..Similarly my lunch had free delivery when I went to Pret earlier...

  11. Martin Lyne


    Epic lack of understanding in comments.

    It's not really free delivery if you have to go and pick it up, is it?

  12. Andy 3

    Not a new concept and actually really useful

    Lots of shops with a physical prescence offer this type of service. It can actually be really useful.

    Most people are away from their home at work during the day. Therefore any deliveries too large for the letterbox or requiring signing for are returned to the sorting office\courier depot\whatever. You then need to physically go to collect your delivery anyway. You've therefore paid for delivery and then potentially paid petrol\bus fare\whatever to go collect the wretched thing. A double cost.

    If you get your item delivered to a store near where you work you can save yourself the delivery cost, hassle of collection from the sorting office, etc.

    Near where I work there are several smaller branch stores. They don't carry the full range of products so I order it online and then go to the branch store to collect it. It means you get what you want without having to hope they have the model\colour\size\whatever you want.

  13. Gordon Jahn
    Thumb Down

    But Debenhams suck....

    Every time I've ordered from Debenhams online, I get an e-mail about 2 weeks later saying they can't locate the item and have cancelled my order.

    What's the point in having a sales website without a working stock-control system??

    (Report based on a sample of 2 orders, 100% of which went unfulfilled - it may not be statistically significant, but it still means I've no intention of ever using the Debenhams website again)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Definitely not new

    As others mention loads of other people do this ... however they tend to split into two camps. One group like Argos allow you to reserve anything they have in stock at the branch and go and pick it up immediately. Others like Tesco Direct allow you to order something that this then dispatched to the store you select for you to pick up 24 hours or so later. Both have their merits - Argos is good in that, if its in stock, you can pick it up immediately whereas with TescoDirect there's the advantage that you are ordering from a central warehouse so are not limited by local stock (which will be smaller than an Argos, which is basically a warehouse with a pickup desk).

    As for the comment about saving £3.99 for the privelege of having to go to the store ... this may be a big deal for some people who aren't at home when delivery people call and work somewhere that doesn't allow private deliveries.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Debehams: pah!

    Stopped shopping there 10 years ago and banned the family from going in. Been waiting to here the death knell.

    1. Jolyon


      It has survived a decade without you.

      Maybe the family has been sneaking in while you were sharpening your crayons.

  16. Ian Williamson

    Debenhams - worst online shopping experience ever

    Just bought some furniture from debenhams online and having a complete nightmare with it.

    Ordered in store using debenhams gift cards to pay (had several cards, but couldn't use them all online as the stupid web site only accepts one per order).

    Delivered to home. Opened packaging and found damaged items (after delivery person had legged it) - looks like caused by rough handling in transit.

    Called debenhams - they offered 10% discount to keep damaged goods - said we wanted a replacement, not damaged goods. Told none in stock, asked to call back 5 days later to see if they had any then.

    Called 5 days later - good news, now in stock. Great we say, please send replacement and collect damaged ones.

    OK they say but you've got to pay for new ones first, and then when we get damaged ones back we'll refund back onto the gift card. Hang on we say, thats crap, can't the same person collect old ones and deliver new ones. No, they say (even though it is the same company doing it).

    Also, we say, we don't have the gift card - the store kept it. OK they say, we'll send a new one to you (after we get the goods back).

    But, we say that means we'll have ended up paying cash, not with the gift card we wanted to use. Tough, is the response.

    OK we say, in that case cancel the order and collect the damaged goods, and send us a new gift card. And we can't take a day off to wait for the courier, so make it a saturday collection.

    OK, they say.

    As it happens I'm working from home the following Tuesday - and a woman turns up at the door saying 'I'm here to collect something (don't know what) for debenhams'. Oh I say, thought you were coming Saturday. Nope, she replies - doesn't say that in the collection details debenhams gave us.

    Oh, well I say, you're here now - this is the item to collect.

    I can't take that she says - I've only got a car and the weight limit is 17kg. You'll have to call debenhans again.

    Called debenhams - they said oh, thats odd - yes it is still booked for a saturday collection (8am - 8pm). Call us after 8pm on Saturday if it hasn't been collected.

    We notice their customer service line shuts at 8pm - so call at 7.55pm saturday to say we've been waiting all day and nobody has arrived to collect.

    Oh, they say - we'll rebook it - but actually we can't collect on saturdays, or tell you what day it will be collected.

    You bastards we reply - who do we complain to. Dunno, they say.

    Since then I've been working from home for nearly 2 more weeks, no collection, despite frequent calls to find out why not. Just fobbed off with 'I'm sure it will be collected in the next day or two'.

    The only alternative they'll offer is for us to take it back to the local store ourselves - but it is heavy and we can't lug it up the road from the car park to the store.

    Truly the worst online shopping experience I've ever had, and the last time we consider using debenhams online.

    It isn't delivery to the local store they need to be doing - it is a complete overhaul of their customer service and home delivery services.

    1. GettinSadda
      Thumb Up

      Take them to court

      Take them to small claims court - it really is painless and they will almost certainly simply not turn up so you just go along and collect the order for them to pay - if they don't pay, you can get a debt collection agency to just go along to a store and recover the value in goods.


  17. Anonymous Coward

    PC World often ...

    have special 'internet only' pricing on items. I recently saved 25% off the in-store price of a hard drive simply by pre-ordering / reserving the item.

    The shopping experience was no different to normal - except I identified myself to a sales assistant, he took the item off the shelf for me and applied the discount.

    In practice, this means you pay a premium for impulse buying; and there is a real incentive to check out the website before making a purchase.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      this is why a smartphone is good :)

      I've ordered instore from my smartphone, and picked it up 5 minutes later, with the discount. Silly system really, but quite amusing.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      PC World

      Aren't they the same guys who still sell a USB cable fro £14.99 ?? And (as a tech savvy guy) go there to shop amongst the numpties? Must be a thrilling experience.

      1. chr0m4t1c

        As with other "high street" stores

        They're useful if you need something in a hurry.

        And it can be fun game to see how fast you can get beyond the salesdroid's product knowledge. First sentence, usually :-)

  18. OrientalHero
    Thumb Up

    John Lewis too!

    I found this feature useful as I was able to drop into a John Lewis store on the way home to save the postage/packaging charge. And also it was quicker than waiting for the 3-5 days delivery!

  19. Frostbite
    Paris Hilton

    Two Words

    Debenhams Pants

  20. Tharglet


    Not really with it on the online stuff.

    Used their wedding system when someone recommended it - I sure never will. Site borked up setting up the list, took several calls to sort it, and had to wait for the store to do a *manual* process too.

    Site was then awkward to add to/edit the list.

    When we got the stuff, after they rearranged the delivery slot, despite it being booked and they had a PLANNED absence that made them reschedule, a picture frame was missing, and we had an item from someone else's list!! Names on the card attached to the gift weren't ours!

    Compare this to Amazon, where setting up the list took about 5-10 mins, adding things was a breeze, and all the stuff that was bought from that list was delivered. OK, it's not one delivery, but wasn't an issue for us.

    Only reason I had the Debenham's list was for people who didn't have internet could buy us things.

    Collect from store is usually possible with bricks + mortar retailers, in my experience. Pointless to me with Debenham's as there's none for miles. Not really free delivery if it's delivery to store NOT house.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Debenhams weddings

      You're not the only one to have had a problem with the wedding services.

      While we didn't have an issue with the gift list itself, we opted to add some items to the list that couldn't be found in store and only on the internet. This wasn't in itself a problem, the problem came when they tried to deliver it.

      For some reason, they decided to deliver one of the items (out of a microwave, food processor and toaster oven) separately to my parents' address (where I was living before getting married). Unfortunately they were on holiday, so they dropped it over the back gate. Apparently they didn't think this would be a problem. Unsurprisingly, it was a bit broken.

      Then they delivered the microwave and toaster oven to our new address. The microwave looked like someone had dropped a brick on it (not on the box - on the microwave) and toaster oven was missing a massive chunk out of the casing.

      When they redelivered, the food processor was fine, the new microwave had a chip missing from the glass plate and the toaster oven had a problem with the LCD display on it.

      By this point I was so bored of dealing with them I gave up and accepted the faults as the items were at least functional.

      I did at least manage to badger 100 quid out of them, but was no way near what I was aiming to get and didn't hugely compensate for the inconvenience.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Epic Commentard Fail

    Wow, some people really have got irony and comprehension filters working at full strength.

    Re-read the story. You can buy goods from Crapenhams in the shop or you can go through some complicated system of making an online order and proving to the Stasi who you are.

    My chipshop does free delivery if you are prepared to go into the place and collect your fish and chips.

    Seriously people. What is going on?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    "Seriously people. What is going on?"

    I think what is going on is that people are pointing out that replacing the name of Debenhams with the name of any of a variety of other stores produces an article which could have been written at a variety of times in the last few years, which means the article isn't quite as newsworthy (or perhaps even as ironic) as you seem to think. But if you're not comfortable with comments pointing out that an article in the fast moving electronic media is more than a couple of years too late...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I assume this is an ironic reply to my comment

      I have no doubt that you could replace Debenhams with the the names of many other brands.

      The key point, in my reading of this, was not that Debenhams are offering a service that lots of other providers are offering but the irony of them headlining their new service which involves not having to pay a delivery charge if you collect from the store.

      You are quite right in pointing out that lots of retailers offer this - in fact, I dont know (off the top of my head) of any retailer which levies a delivery charge if you want to turn up and purchase something at the store. I even tried it out at my newsagent this morning. Amazingly he didnt add a delivery charge for the newspaper I was going to carry out of the door.

      Is this new technology wonderful.

      Yes, you can even do it at Argos, but that wasnt (in my reading) the point of this article.

      Since when has it been acceptable advertising crappage to say there is no delivery charge if you collect from the store? The very concept is madness.

      That people are having a serious debate about how sensible and useful this is makes the mind boggle.

  23. Tim Cook
    Dead Vulture

    Commenter fail

    The article is not about Debenham's stock distribution, it's about one amazing slogan on their website:

    "Free delivery if you collect from store"

    Think, people!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      At last

      Finally my faith in El Reg Commentards is restored.

      I thought I had fallen into some bizarro dimension where no one could read a Reg article properly anymore.

      Thank you.

  24. LEE80Y

    and I thought..

    upon arriving on this page that I'd clicked the wrong item in my favourites list - Grocers Weekly.

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