Shop­ping surge boost for city stores

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By KEN MCERLAIN ken.mcerlain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

MORE shop­pers have surged into Peter­bor­ough to bag a bar­gain in the sales this week com­pared to last year, new fig­ures have re­vealed.

The Queens­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre has seen the num­ber of shop­pers rise by about 20 per cent com­pared to last year for the sales which started on Mon­day.

A spokesman for Ham­mer­son, the prop­erty firm which owns the shop­ping cen­tre, said that on Box­ing Day foot­fall was 50,000. It was 70,000 on Tues­day and also 70,000 on Wed­nes­day.

The spokesman said that the fig­ures were on av­er­age about 20 per cent up on 2010.

He said: “We are very pleased with the fig­ures.

“We think that peo­ple have been spend­ing but we don’t know to what de­gree re­tail­ers have been dis­count­ing and the im­pact that will have on their profit mar­gins.

“We have no­ticed that shop­pers have been opt­ing for well-known, trusted brand names such as John Lewis, M&S and Next.”

He added that Ham­mer­son was com­mit­ted to Peter­bor­ough as shown by its re­cent in­vest­ment in the cen­tre to make room for Pri­mark, which is on sched­ule to open its doors in Novem­ber 2012.

The news comes as the shop­ping cen­tre recorded strong foot­fall fig­ures dur­ing the run-up to Christ­mas.

On the last week­end be­fore Christ­mas – De­cem­ber 17 and 18 – around 150,000 shop­pers vis­ited the cen­tre and dur­ing the week be­gin­ning De­cem­ber 11, a foot­fall of 500,000 was recorded.

And the shop­ping spree is ex­pected to con­tinue a lit­tle longer, with many stores, in­clud­ing John Lewis and Next, ex­pected to con­tinue their sales for the next few days.

Mean­while, Ham­mer­son is cel­e­brat­ing its per­for­mance na­tion­ally, say­ing its foot­fall fig­ures for its port­fo­lio of re­gional shop­ping cen­tres across the coun­try rep­re­sented an in­crease of six per cent com­pared to 2010 and in­cluded more than 900,000 bar­gain hunters on Tues­day.

The com­pany’s es­tate also in­cludes Union Square in Aberdeen, Sil­ver­burn in Glas­gow, the Bull­ring in Birm­ing­ham, Highcross in Le­ices­ter, Brent Cross in North Lon­don, The Or­a­cle in Read­ing, Westquay in Southamp­ton, and Cen­trale in Croy­don.

De­spite the chal­leng­ing eco­nomic con­di­tions, chief ex­ec­u­tive David Atkins said there had been some “ex­cep­tional trad­ing”.

He said: “With Christ­mas Day fall­ing on a Sun­day, many cus­tomers left shop­ping to the last minute, how­ever, the mo­men­tum has con­tin­ued. Cen­tres across the coun­try have been reporting record-break­ing numbers of vis­i­tors tak­ing ad­van­tage of Box­ing Day sales.”

spree: Shop­pers in the Queens­gate Shop­ping Cen­tre in Peter­bor­ough on Box­ing Day.

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