TROUBLED department store Debenhams is offering to pay for people's parking if they shop there.

The shop in Magdalen Street - which has announced store closures across the UK - says it wants to drive footfall to its stores this Christmas through offering to pick up the cost of parking when shoppers buy items from its fashion, home, beauty and gifting ranges.

Running until Sunday, the retailer will reimburse the cost of Oxford shopper’s parking for two hours when they spend £50 in store.

With parking prices in Oxford among the most expensive outside London, it means shoppers could be reimbursed as much as £7.30 if they chose to park in Worcester Street car park for two hours on Saturday.

Customers must produce a photo or ticket at the till as proof of parking for the cost to be deducted from goods purchased.

Store manager, Craig Shuttleworth, says: “We want to encourage shoppers to come and not only ‘do a bit of Debenhams’ but also meet with friends and family and get into the Christmas spirit by seeing everything that is going on along their high street.

"We hope that by taking away the pain of a parking ticket that we’ll do our bit to encourage shoppers to hit the high street and rediscover their joy of shopping.”

The struggling department store chain plans to axe up to 50 outlets in the UK, putting around 4,000 jobs at risk, after announcing its biggest ever loss of £500 million.

The closures will reduce the Debenhams estate to about 100 and come on top of 10 earmarked earlier this year.

However, the Oxford store is not earmarked for closure.

Debenhams CEO, Sergio Bucher said the company hopes people will see the benefits of shopping in store.

He said; “If we want to retain thriving high streets in our communities, retailers must keep working hard to entice shoppers over the threshold and make shopping in store more exciting.

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