THERE is a new woman at the helm of Bury St Edmunds’ largest department store.
Gail Chandler has taken on the role of store manager at Debenhams, in the arc shopping centre, after former manager Katy Tamagni moved to a larger store in the Midlands.
Mrs Chandler, a mother of three from Sandy, has worked for the fashion retailer since she left school in 1990.
She said: “I’m passionate about Debenhams and passionate about the brands it represents. I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else because I’m just Debenhams to the core.”
She has worked in shops in Bedford, Lakeside, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and most recently Northampton, which was her first appointment as store manager.
The 39-year-old is excited about the different working environment that she now finds herself in and about being based in an ‘idyllic’ town which, she says, has ‘a nice mix of the traditional and the new’.
She said: “The Northampton store was built in the 1950s, it’s a very dated building so to come here to what seems like quite a glamorous environment is a great opportunity.”
Although keen to make some changes, Mrs Chandler said she did not intend to rush into anything and would be taking notice of what customers wanted.
“It’s a very premium market and what we’re looking at next is other offers that customers are asking for, to grow and develop the store further,” she said.
These are likely to include the introduction of a new cosmetics range, an in-store nail bar to complement the new brow bar and new concessions, including Phase Eight, which will be opening next month in the store’s basement level.
As a ‘people person’, Mrs Chandler says she gets a ‘buzz’ from a busy store. She is looking forward to taking on around 30 Christmas temps and helping local schools with work experience placements.