Summer shopping uplift at Rushmere as new tenants take hold
An uplift in summer shopper numbers and a batch of major new store investments has provided Rushmere Shopping Centre with one of its best half-year performances to date.
One of Northern Ireland’s largest and most successful retail complexes today reported a 3% year-on-year rise in visitor numbers for July – typically one of the quieter months in the shopping calendar – and a four-month consecutive increase in overall footfall numbers.
Retailers also reported very robust sales performances for the month with several retailers celebrating double-digit, year-on-year increases for July.
In the first full week of August, the number of visitors to the Craigavon-based centre increased by 6.5%, when compared with the 3.7% footfall decline reported by Experian for the whole of Northern Ireland.
Rushmere credited the uplift on its continued ability to provide a wide and varied mix of shopping which suits both high and low-end budgets and a further increase in consumer confidence overall as it unveiled details of a new batch of store openings and news of further organic growth.
Confirming new lettings and the creation of up to 24 new full and part-time jobs, the Craigavon-based retail scheme said leading UK health food brand Holland & Barrett has chosen Rushmere to launch its first new ‘concept store format’ on the island of Ireland. The new unit, which covers 2,300 square feet, will offer unique products including an extended make-up and beauty offering, a shake-a-whey sports bar and an extensive range of food supplements, health foods and herbal remedies.
UK mobile giant Vodafone, meanwhile, is upsizing from its existing unit measuring 300 square feet to a new store measuring 2,000 square feet. Rushmere confirmed that Debenhams has opened a new Benefit Brow Counter and that there are plans for it to further expand its ‘click and collect’ service area in store. A new store by footwear specialists Pavers, which recently opened a 2,480 square foot unit on the main fashion mall, completes the main line-up of new sign-ups.
Rushmere Shopping Centre Manager, Martin Walsh (pictured), said: “We’re thrilled that shoppers have continued to vote with their feet and choose Rushmere as their retail destination of choice. The confidence shown by them means we can continue to invest and expand our offering and I’m delighted that so many big-name, top brand retailers are voting with their feet too.
“Thanks to the loyalty shown by visitors who appreciate our unique and convenient location in the heart of Northern Ireland, trade has exceeded our expectations for the first half of this year and we’re confident that if current market conditions prevail, we can look forward to delivering another strong year of growth for our customers, staff, tenants and for the local economy overall.”
Rushmere Shopping Centre currently employs more than 1,200 staff and has more than 65 retail outlets