Mark Rycraft at Middleton Grange
Graham Vincent

Member Article

Hartlepool shopping centre’s delight at sharp rise in footfall

Hartlepool shoppers are bucking the national trend by hitting the shops and pledging to buy local.

While national shopping figures are down 0.6% year-on-year, Middleton Grange in Hartlepool enjoyed a massive 15% increase in visitors to its Boxing Day sales.

And over 1.3m visited the Centre in December, a rise of 3.73% on the same month last year.

Centre manager Mark Rycraft said: “We are absolutely delighted by these figures and so pleased that Hartlepool is rising above the national trend.

“There is no doubt that online retailing is on the increase but what we offer as a collective in Hartlepool can outweigh that by far.

“By going to your local shopping centre you’re not only able to see the goods you’re buying, you’re also securing local jobs and that is vital in the current climate.”

But while the Centre has been delighted by the increase in visitors it is also aware it needs to continue to improve its offering to its customers.

The Centre, which has flagship stores such as BHS, Wilkinson, Primark, River Island and New Look, will continue to try to entice big name stores into Middleton Grange.

Mark explained: “Our specialist retail agents continue to market Middleton Grange and Hartlepool and the increase in footfall this year, especially at Christmas, goes some way to demonstrate to potential future retailers that we are a vibrant Shopping Centre and town centre worth investment.

“As a Centre we also have to look at what we can do to help support our retailers. The children’s play area has been a welcome addition and this year we are looking at the feasibility of installing Wi-Fi throughout the Centre.”

Communication has also been a key driver for the Centre with local and social media keeping shoppers updated on everything from opening times to sales promotions within the Centre.

Mark added: “We have also seen increasing success with the many click and collect services our retailers offer. We appreciate that some shoppers don’t have much time to browse so going onto the stores’ websites and having everything ready just to pick up locally at Middleton Grange, can be a very useful service. For example the whole of M&S’ UK range is available right here in Hartlepool through click an collect.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Graham Vincent .

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