Debenhams in Colchester Culver Square was shut down in May 2021, there was over 160 stores shut down nationwide; ever since Debenhams was bought by the Boohoo group and has become an online store. The space where Debenhams was open has since been empty, but Colchester Council has approved plans and ‘Flip out’ will be opening a thrilling indoor adventure park in the space.

The new establishment will have arcades, a mini golf course, axe throwing, go karting, and a trampoline park. This will be attractive to all age groups as there would be a huge range of activities to choose from, being especially attractive for family outings and birthday parties. The opening of this leisure zone allows for more attractions for tourists as they visit Colchester, the oldest city in Britain.

There are many economic benefits of a huge attraction like this as more job opportunities open and more local businesses within the town will be promoted. Another aspect of this is that the new zone is for the purposes of enjoyment and leisure, rather than retail. This is beneficial as experiences enhance and develop our life, and this gives us opportunities to spend more time with loved ones to build meaningful and memorable experiences. Many studies also show that while retail does provide a sense of exhilaration, the feelings are not long lasting and it leads to a more materialistic point of view within life, whereas the joy from experiences with people has more long-lasting effect and promotes intrinsic happiness. This could be the next phase of consumerism, with people focusing on experiencing life rather than being reliant on material goods.

Especially as a sixth former, this gives me more places to spend time with my friends and more opportunity for meaningful connections and adventures. Overall, I think for all Colchester residents, it will be a good life experience and will add to the vibe of Colchester city!