Press Releases



Outdoor Matthew Main

Britons are developing a taste for al fresco living with outside space increasingly treated as an extension to the home.

From city flat balconies, to modest backyards or tendered lawns people are creating an extra “room” where they can eat and drink in the open air and relax in the sun as we seek to take advantage of a Mediterranean lifestyle and spend more time outdoors.

The trend to make more use of our outside environment, dubbed “Patio Living” has sent sales of garden furniture, sun loungers, parasols, gazebos, barbeques, patio heaters and chimineas soaring.

Debenhams reports demand for garden furniture has doubled over the last year with dining tables and chairs and parasols especially popular. Its “hanging chair” has become its single best-selling chair in its stores and online.

Outdoor living accessories are up almost 50% and outdoor tablewear, including plates, mugs and dishes, has also risen by 25%. The figures are supported by a report from researchers Mintel who say that half of home entertainment is now conducted on the patio and in the garden.

Despite our unpredictable climate, two out of three people surveyed for the retailer said they planned to spent more leisure time outside the home than inside, during the coming summer months.

Over half (56%) said they would cook on the barbecue once a week or more and almost a third (31%) said weather permitting they would regularly eat meals outside.

The study found people now spent more money on accessories for their outdoor space than they did on gardening products. Eight out of ten of home owners possessed outdoor furniture, 55% owned barbecues, while 29% owned some form of outdoor lighting, from lanterns and solar powered lamps to hard-wired patio and courtyard lighting.

Nine out of ten of those asked said outdoor space was important to them.

Debenhams said: “There has been a definite change in how we use the space surrounding outside our homes. Once planting and gardening was our pride and joy but many more people are paving over areas, or installing decking and as a result bringing the indoors outside by creating comfortable living and seating spaces in the open air.

“We may not all be green-fingered but we are definitely spending more time in our gardens. Even if the outside space is limited, be it a balcony or tiny courtyard, if it’s big enough to squeeze a table and chairs in, you can bet we will. Many of us have adopted a much more a continental style of living and we can see that reflecting in our customers’ purchases.”


Notes to Editors:

Survey of 1260 Debenhams customers conducted April 2015

About Us
Debenhams is a leading international, multi-channel brand with a proud British heritage which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. Debenhams gives its customers around the world a unique, differentiated and exclusive mix of own brands, international brands and concessions.

Debenhams has been investing in design for over 20 years through its exclusive Designers at Debenhams portfolio of brands. Current designers include Abigail Ahern, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Sadie Frost and Jemima French, Patrick Grant, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Stephen Jones, Ben de Lisi, Todd Lynn, Julien Macdonald, Jenny Packham, Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Aliza Reger, John Rocha, Ashley Thomas, Justin Thornton, Thea Bregazzi, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson. 


For more information and high-res lifestyle and cut-out imagery please contact:

Debenhams Press Office
020 3549 6420 /

Digital Assets

top arrow