When I see Fenwicks, I remember the excitement I felt waiting for the Williams and Griffins’ unveiling of the Christmas window display. As a near-adult, I feel the same when I walk into Fenwicks. It is undoubtedly the most glamorous shopping experience in Colchester and a beacon of hope for crumbling highstreets across the country.

Fenwicks at Christmas is magical. The ground floor boasts a range of cosmetics, bags and jewellery from luxury brands including Chanel and Mulberry. Tow ards the back lies the men’s clothing section. Up a level is the women’s clothing section with items for old and young. During the Christmas event prosecco and mince pies were served, managing to sustain a fatigued shopper. On the top floor is the section dedicated to the home with food and furniture items arrayed. Along with a selection of spirits. Of course, children are not forgotten, having their own area on the bottom floor with toys and clothing.

Fenwicks is the pinnacle of department store shopping. Nothing in the surrounding area comes close to competing with the lavish products, friendly atmosphere and beautiful décor. Many choose the ease of internet shopping over the Highstreet because it requires little effort to find what is wanted. However Fenwicks supplies such a wide spectrum of items that only an escalator separates a shopper from what they want. Internet shopping has nothing on the glamour of perusing expensive clothes on a marble floor.

Their Christmas Evening only adds another layer of charm with the addition of Christmas lights and bubbly. Since the death of Santa, Christmas has never felt the same for me. That enthusiasm can never be recaptured, but a new kind can be nurtured. This process starts with events like the Christmas Evening, in which the mind can be reawakened to the jollity of Christmas.

Christmas shopper Sue Dempsey said “from the silver entertainers who greeted me into the store to the glass of prosecco that was handed to me on the first floor, it was a fabulous festive evening. Just a shame that there wasn’t any consistency with the free parking as this sadly wasn’t offered to me when I left the store. Whereas I have heard from other shoppers they had their full parking ticket refunded.”

Since the death of Debenhams, Colchester town centre has never been the same. Though Fenwicks may enjoy the success of being the only department store in town now its fate may end up the same. The internet is not the only obstacle for department stores. Now they must compete against shopping centres out-of-town. Which enjoy cheaper rent and poach customers with their heightened accessibility. It is vital that Fenwicks continues to connect with consumers, for its own sake and the sake of the town centre.