A BASINGSTOKE shopping centre has hinted that the empty Debenhams unit could soon be taken over.

Festival Place has left cryptic clues for shoppers on the side of the vacant unit, leaving people guessing what it might be used for.

The signs include various clues including ‘Beat That’, ‘Game On’, ‘First to Four’ and ‘Race to the Middle’ saying these are ‘coming soon’ to the shopping centre.

Read more: What will replace empty Debenhams unit in Festival Place?

The posters also include riddles for customers to solve such as: “It belongs to you, but other people use it more than you do. What is it?”

Another asks: “The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?”

The answers have been posted underneath.

The owners of Festival Place previously said they were still looking for “viable alternatives” to fill the empty unit, which has been shut for more than 18 months.

A spokesperson told the Gazette they were not yet able to reveal what the Debenhams unit will be used for, but it will be announced soon. 

The three-floor department store, which opened in Festival Place in 2002 and closed in May 2021, has remained empty since.

A spokesperson for the shopping centre said last year: “The Debenhams unit offers a significant opportunity for us and Basingstoke town centre. As soon as we have an update we will share it with you.”

See also: One in five Festival Place units empty as council looks at 'alternatives' to retail

Debenhams permanently closed all of its stores in May 2021 after going into liquidation, putting an end to its 242 years of trading.

While it had struggled for years, the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns pushed it over the edge.

Some of its former units have plans for alternative developments, including the former Debenhams department store in Southampton which has been earmarked for 600 homes.

The former Debenhams site in Bournemouth has been replaced by Bobby’s, another department store with a beauty hall, art gallery, and sushi restaurant.

Paul Kinvig, chief operating officer of Bournemouth Town Centre BID, told the Gazette’s sister paper the Bournemouth Echo at the opening event in September 2021: “Towns and cities across the county will be looking at the Bobby’s building as what you can do with imagination and commitment in relation to these old department store buildings after many of them closed down.”