A Bristol shopping centre boss’s public cry for help yesterday prompted a surge in shopper numbers to one of the south-west’s major retail destinations.
Having welcomed very few shoppers in the early part of the morning when heavy snow kept people from venturing out of their homes, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway saw visitor levels pick up to what effectively reflected “a normal busy Saturday”.
Commercial Director of the retail hub Jon Edwards said that footfall reached around 50,000 in the end but it was nowhere near the typical Christmas trading levels, although there has been stronger sales activity today.
His comments came after he had told the BBC on Monday that the snowy weather’s negative impact on trading at what should have been one of the busiest days of the year “makes me cry”.
Edwards explained to Retail Gazette: “We were all ready for the crowds, but unfortunately it took a while for consumers to realise it was safe enough to shop at The Mall - the cry for help seemed to work.”
Unlike Brent Cross Shopping Centre in north London, which was closed on Saturday afternoon because conditions were deemed unsafe for customers, The Mall did not have to shut its doors to the public at any stage.
Thousands of shoppers in the capital were left to find alternative destinations to make purchases on what should have been the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year.
Commenting on the decision to close Brent Cross, which is one of London’s most popular retail centres, Edwards said: “You always have to find the balance that is right for customers, stakeholders and employees.
“It is important to assess all elements of a given situation and make a decision that is right for that particular time.”