Monday, 24 August 2009

Highcross centre beating recession trend

By Sunil Patel

Thrifty customers have been parting with their hard earned cash at one city shopping mall, bucking the national recession trend.

The Highcross Centre, Leicester, reported 1.5 million shoppers passing through its doors in July, with a peak in numbers for the second consecutive weekend in July.

A combination of discounts, sales and promotions and £2 all day parking has attracted a high volume of shoppers to the £350 million retail development, which opened in September last year.

There was a significant rise in overall car park numbers with a 50 per cent jump in Sunday figures compared to the same day before the start of the summer.

Tom Nathan, general manager of the centre was delighted with the results, he said: “This is excellent news for the first summer, trading as Highcross.”

There was 10 percent hike in the number of shoppers in the week running up to the start of the John Lewis sale.

Till receipts for the department store show a 60 per cent rise on a normal Saturday trading and then high then expected sales for the following two weeks.

Fashions, branded clothing and electrical goods were all big sellers for the store.
James Moles, the operations manager for the store at Highcross, said: “The John Lewis clearance has proved particularly successful.

“TVs bought in especially for the clearance have also flown off the shelves, but full price items have also done well with the extra footfall as people prepare for holidays,” he added.

Recent figures by Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggest that some small businesses were experiencing a tentative recovery.

The poll showed that (FSB) members, 23% noticed an improvement, compared with 16% in February.

However, the recession was still an issue for some traders such as Mike Swan from Around Sound in Stoneygate shops, which specialises in high-end electrical products.

He said “We’re still finding it tough but instead of people complaining on radio phone-ins about the prices why don’t they come out and find out what deals we’ve got.

“We offer a personal service to all our customers for all our products which is something you don’t get off the internet or in city centre shops.”

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