LONDON, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Debenhams has revealed that teenagers across the country won't be attending school discos over the coming weeks but instead dancing at American style school proms.
The phenomenon is so prevalent that in some areas nine out of ten secondary schools will be hosting the events, sending sales of prom style dresses soaring and creating a new sales peak second only to Christmas says the store.
Unlike the school disco, the prom is a much more formal affair with evening wear and black tie being the required dress code. Since the start of the 'season' Debenhams has seen a 57% rise in sales of occasion handbags and a whopping 1,322% sales increase on false eyelashes.
Party shoes have also sold faster than ever with ten styles selling out ahead of expectation.
The trend has been sparked by hit US TV shows such as 'Glee' and 'Super Sweet 16' and seems to be growing each year.
However, the move away from the disco has spawned another phenomenon - the Promzilla, a teenage girl who is keen to outdo her friends, according to Debenhams research.
Promzillas are so eager to be the bell of the ball that through 'pester power' they encourage their parents to spend nearly £600 on attending the prom, with limo hire, false tan, expensive haircuts and corsages sending costs soaring.
As a result Debenhams has briefed sales staff and personal shoppers to encourage parents not to feel they need to splurge large amounts on what is an end of term party and with prom dresses at Debenhams starting from just £60 they don't have to.
Carie Barkhuizen, Spokesperson for Debenhams said: "Dancing at the school disco it seems has had its day. All the focus is now on the prom and being the bell of the ball.
"What's fantastic about our store is that parents can get the designer names their kids are after, at high street prices."
'Ladette to Lady' Social & Etiquette Expert, Liz Brewer added: "Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, has been a brilliant role model for girls as she has shown that clothes can not only be recycled but that high street fashion is okay and appropriate."
Debenhams is a leading department stores group with a strong presence in key product categories including womenswear, mens fashion, childrenswear, home and health and beauty.
Debenhams is the second largest department store chain in the UK.
Debenhams operates 161 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Debenhams also has 61 international franchise stores in 24 countries and six Magasin stores in Denmark.
Designers at Debenhams include Preen, Jonathan Saunders, Jonathan Kelsey, Roksanda Ilincic, Ted Baker, Jeff Banks, Jasper Conran, Erickson Beamon, FrostFrench, Henry Holland, Betty Jackson, Ben de Lisi, Julien Macdonald, Melissa Odabash, Jane Packer, Pearce Fionda, Janet Reger, John Rocha, Lisa Stickley, Eric Van Peterson and Matthew Williamson.
Debenhams PR Manager - Womenswear, accessories and store PR
33 Wigmore Street