Shopping centres report encouraging sales figures
ASHFORD’S shopping centres are looking to 2010 with hope after healthy post-Christmas trade.
County Square Shopping Centre reported leaps in footfall from Boxing Day onwards, while the Park Mall Shopping Centre was encouraged by sales after its first Boxing Day opening.
Traders believe at least some of the brisk business is due to shoppers seeking post-Christmas bargains during the recession.
Fran Burt, commercial manager for County Square, said “It has been absolutely fantastic.
“Footfall on Boxing Day was just over 15,000, 25 per cent up on last year, and on Sunday, December 27, it was 12,500, 30 per cent up on the previous Sunday after Christmas.
“I think people don’t know what is going to happen in the next year so they want to grab bargains while they can.”
Exact trade figures from Park Mall were not available at the time we went to press, but marketing manager Natalie Price said: “We were so encouraged that we will open again on Boxing Day next year.”
Ashford Designer Outlet was this week still calculating its post-Christmas sales figures.
But it reported a 5.8 per cent year-on-year rise in visitor numbers and an eight per cent increase in sales in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.
Centre manager David Maddison said: “The economic climate has meant that shoppers are looking to make their money go further this Christmas.
“Shoppers are increasingly choosing the outlet because they can get the high street and designer brands without having to pay the full price.”
County Square also did well, with footfall up 10 per cent from December 18 to Christmas Eve compared with the same period last year.
Mrs Burt said: “Stores reported to me phenomenal sales in the week up to Christmas, some saying the best in five years, others the best known.
“Again during this period footfall was up 10 per cent on last year.”
Park Mall reported a slight decrease in footfall to 71,000 from December 7 to 15, compared with 72,000 in the same period last year. But it had gone up by four per cent week on week.
Ashford shoppers rush for the bargains