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Christmas comes early to Wakefield shopping centre

Christmas has begun for Wakefield’s Ridings Shopping Centre, with a number of new store openings, rising footfall and a large number of retailer lease renewals offering a promising end to 2013.

Despite the gloomy outlook for retail, the shopping centre, which houses a strong mixture of high street and independent stores is bucking the trend and has seen Wakefield Antique and Collectables open its doors on 1st November 2013, offering a range of furniture, antiques, ceramics, vintage clothes, collectables and jewellery from a 4.092 sq. ft. unit on the top mall.

As well as the new store opening, since September The Ridings has secured new lettings to a wide range of retailers including Social Lites E Cigarettes, Diva, Ethel Austin, Hellraiser & Morgana, Stoneacre and Teeboy.

The shopping centre has also experienced a significant increase in contract renewals with That’s Entertainment, Timpsons, Monkey, Futurelinks and St Vincents all renewing their contracts.

Barbara Winston, Centre Manager of the Ridings Shopping Centre comments: “There’s no denying that shoppers now require more variation on the High Street. As well as the comfort of established brands they are also interested in the vitality and difference that independent outlets offer and we are keen to provide that.”

The shopping centre, which celebrated its 30th year in October, attributes its success in to the flexibility that it offers to retailers.

Barbara continues: “We understand that the high street continues to face challenges and we have done a great deal to offer flexible options for retailers, which have all proved to be very successful.”

“We offer short term leases, assist new retailers with pop up boutiques, we have units that operate as cooperatives and collectives and we host market days through our Yorkshire and Vintage markets.”

“Our pop-up stores are seen as a stepping stone to a more permanent presence; as an example fashion boutique Identity started out as a pop-up store, before moving into its own unit, we also provide a great deal of help and support to our retailers too.”

Earlier in the year, The Ridings announced that value fashion powerhouse Primark is set to extend its existing store to 28,500 sq. ft. in 2014, offering customers more space, style and savings for all the family and increasing the overall number of visitors.

Situated over three levels, The Ridings Shopping Centre comprises 345,000 sq. ft. and houses 85 stores including BHS, Primark and Marks & Spencer alongside unique independents such as Created in Yorkshire and Identity Boutique.

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