Win £500 shopping spree

AS the sun finally starts to shine again, now is the perfect time to brighten up your weary wardrobe.

Prints, pastels and peplums are just some of the Spring trends to choose from, but if you’re wondering what on earth a peplum is, don’t panic, help is at hand.

Rachel Mulcahy, 21, works at the Debenhams store in The Mall Luton, and it’s her job to shop for you, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of tea while the trained stylist picks out the perfect pieces for your fabulous new look.

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Rachel said: “I’ve been the personal shopper here for about 18 months and I absolutely love it. I start by looking my clients’ body shape, their skin tone, hair colour and personality to work out what will suit them. Then, while they wait in my room, I go and get them clothes, shoes and accessories to try on and see what they like.”

Debenhams personal shoppers don’t work on commission, so if you look better in a £30 dress than in a £100 dress, they won’t be telling you to buy the expensive one.

Rachel said: “I’m completely honest and tell my clients the truth about what suits them. Often when people come in they’re a little nervous, so I make them feel comfortable and get chatting to relax them and find out what they want. I listen to what they like but I also take them away from their comfort zone to try new things. It’s all about building up their confidence too.”

Rachel said it’s mostly women who come to see her, but she has had some men, including a bloke who wanted a suitcase full of stylish threads for his lads’ holiday, and a cross–dresser who wanted to try on beautiful ball gowns in the privacy of the personal shopping lounge.

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The personal shopper service is completely free and available in 135 stores nationwide. You can get advice on anything from an outfit for a special occasion, workwear essentials or your everyday wardrobe and there is no obligation to buy anything – although you probably won’t be able to resist.

Debenhams Luton has teamed up with the Luton News and Dunstable Gazette to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a VIP personal shopping experience, with £500 to spend in store during the session.

The winner will be taken around the store, talked through the latest trends and given advice on clothes to fit their body shape and personal style, from the store’s dedicated personal shopper before splashing the cash.

To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, just answer this simple question:

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How many stores nationwide is the Debenhams personal shopper service available in?

A) 56

B) 84

C) 135

Send your answers to [email protected] or to Media House, 39 Upper George Street, Luton, LU1 2RD. Include your name, age, phone number and address. Closing date April 30, 2012.

Shoppers won’t be the only ones getting a new look as Debenhams in Luton is undergoing a multi–million pound modernisation which is due for completion at the end of May. The cosmetics hall on the ground floor will almost double in size, featuring new beauty brands including Bare Minerals, a new beauty treatment room and an exclusive introduction of a new Benefit brow bar, making it the number one destination for beauty aficionados.

Brands such as Jacques Vert, Ted Baker and the Diamond by Julien MacDonald range will be introduced to the existing womenswear department and the menswear, lingerie and accessories departments are also expanding.

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New changing rooms, toilets and baby change and a personal shopper suite will also be introduced, all to the latest specification. A Virgin Travel concession will also be launched in store.

Store manager Mary Callan says: “There’s a real buzz among colleagues about the changes taking place in store and we’re confident customers are going to love the new and improved shopping experience

“We’d like to apologise for the disruption, we are trading as normal during the transition and once complete, we’ll be able to offer shoppers of Luton a first class shopping experience.”

Competition terms and conditions: Items selected as part of the prize must be Debenhams own-bought product only. Customers are welcome to purchase additional concession items at their own expense. All prize items must be selected on the same day, in one appointment. The prize cannot be exchanged and has no cash value. This offer is not available in conjunction with any offer or promotion and only applies to full price merchandise. The prize must be claimed by May 31st 2012.

Johnston Press terms and conditions apply. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.