Shopping centre on course to break through £200 million mark


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A shopping centre is on course to break through the £200 million mark for the amount of money spent by its customers every year.

So far this year footfall at the Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre in Wrexham is up by four per cent and means they are heading for a record number of shoppers in 2017.

According to centre manager Kevin Critchley, they’re still benefiting from the cheaper car parking prices introduced just before Christmas two years ago when tickets were reduced by between 55% and 38%.

As a result the number of shoppers topped the 3.5 million mark last year, the highest number recorded since the centre opened in 2008.

That took the total spending by customers to more than £190 million during 2016 and Mr Critchley is hoping to break through the £200 million mark this year.

He said: “The big reductions in car parking fees undoubtedly gave us a big bounce and helped attract even more customers and we’re still riding the crest of that particular wave.

“While 2016 was an excellent year for Eagles Meadow, it’s fair to say we’re continuing that trend  and we are set fair for a positive 2017 with footfall up by four per cent.

“A big part of the reason for Eagles Meadows’ success is the fantastic mix of shopping and leisure that we’ve got here, which is also a great asset to the town as a whole.

“I think without Eagles Meadow, Wrexham as a town would not have such a strong shopping offer.

“We attract people from way beyond the immediate surrounding area. It is the shopping powerhouse of North Wales and provides a 1,000 of jobs for local people and brings in a huge amount of wealth for the town.

“With Eagles Meadow as part of the retail and leisure offer of the town, Wrexham punches way-above its weight and has an influence on the whole region.”

The latest increases in footfall shows that Eagles Meadow is outperforming the rest of Wales where footfall has grown on average by 1.7 per cent while shopping centres on average experienced a 0.8 per cent drop in the number of shoppers.

Sara Jones, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Welsh Retail Consortium, said:It was another successful month in terms of visitor numbers to Welsh high streets, resulting in sixth months of continuous growth in footfall.

“These positive figures complement the retail sales growth which also increased by 1.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis from June 2016.”

The increase in footfall comes on the back of another recent boost for Eagles Meadow when it won a prestigious national award for a jumpquiffing campaign to celebrate the centenary of children’s author Roald Dahl.

The centrepiece of the month’s activities at the Eagles Meadow in Wrexham was an authentic Story Shack modelled on the one where Dahl used to write his scrumdiddlyumptious stories.

The campaign earned a merit award from the judges at the prestigious Purple Apple Awards.

The annual industry accolades run by Revo, which stands for Retail Evolution, recognise and reward effective shopping and town centre marketing within the UK retail property sector.

The project was masterminded Kevin Critchley and Sally Sookia, Assistant Head of the Bewonder agency, which is in charge of marketing at Eagles Meadow.

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