BOUYANT START TO HECTIC YEAR AT YATE SHOPPING CENTRE
2015 will be a year of excitement and opportunity at Yate Shopping Centre, according to the owners Crestbridge Trust.
Last year finished on a high with December’s month-on-month footfall showing a 2.2% increase over the previous year, an extra 25,000 visitors in total, whereas the British Retail Consortium’s Monitor index showed footfall fell 0.7% nationally. However, Yate’s shopping pattern was remarkably different in 2014 as many shoppers left it till the week before Christmas to do their shopping with footfall showing a weekly year-on-year increase of over 9%.
Andrew Lowrey, Shopping Centre Manager: “There is definitely confidence returning to the market despite income pressures and it was good to record positive footfall figures. Also of significance was that people were actually spending money and not just window shopping: twenty of the Centre’s key traders experienced monthly sales increases by an average of 3.5% during December 2014 compared to 2013. In particular, Abrahams Jewellers who have been at the centre since 1965 and moved into a newly fitted store in East Walk in September 2013 reported significant sales growth in the last 12 months.
“This maintained growth is so important in delivering jobs and prosperity for the town. All-in-all 2014 was very positive for the Centre and there is so much happening so 2015 promises to be another good year for Yate and the Shopping Centre.”
Works on Yate Riverside, the new cinema and leisure development on Link Road, will start in the next few weeks, Cineworld already having been announced as the cinema operator. Other operators will be announced in the next few weeks.
In the main shopping centre, refurbishment works are already well underway on the Clarks unit in East Walk, having closed last week. The re-opening date is scheduled for 9th February and the new shop will feature greater stock lines in an increased sales area.
Andy Lowrey: “This refurbishment is a further vote of confidence from our existing retailers and this has very recently been further boosted by the announcement that independent ironmongers Merediths have committed to a new lease which is absolutely fantastic news.
“We are still in discussions with retailers interested in taking space in the main shopping area and, in particular, the former Burton and Entertainer units, both of which are in key locations to generate traffic. Hopefully, we will be able to make announcements very soon.”