Bluewater shopping centre set a new annual footfall record last year with 28.1 million visitors, after impressive seasonal trading.
December 27th 2010, dubbed ‘Mega Monday’, was the busiest day in the Kent centre’s history, with over 194,000 shoppers entering the site looking for post-Christmas bargains.
In the week beginning December 26th over one million guests shopped at the centre, making up for sales losses during the heavy snowfall earlier in the month.
Andrew Parkinson, General Manager of the leisure and retail destination, commented: “This Christmas, more than any other in Bluewater’s history, has been a tale of two very different halves. Pre-Christmas, the snow created pent-up demand that ultimately drove very high levels of footfall in the final shopping days.”
January sales are expected to fall significantly across all retail sectors following today’s VAT rise and reduced consumer confidence.
Although it is aware of the tough times to come, the centre is hoping the continued expansion and innovations in the new year will keep customer numbers up.
Parkinson continued: “That this has been a record Christmas suggests that consumer confidence is returning, albeit cautiously.
“Nevertheless, 2011 will be a challenging year, but Bluewater has a unique offer that provides guests with a much more rounded ‘day-out’ experience combining shopping with leisure and much more.
“We will also continue to evolve. Last year, 34 new stores opened at Bluewater, many of which were UK firsts, and we anticipate a similar level of new brands in 2011.
“We will also be opening the Events Venue later this year, which is a purpose-built space for complementary events and exhibitions that create additional reasons to visit Bluewater.”