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Romford Liberty bucks national trend with visitor boost

PUBLISHED: 11:09 24 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:15 24 June 2014

Shopping stock photo. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

Shopping stock photo. Picture: PA/Dominic Lipinski

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The number of visitors has skyrocketed at a Romford shopping centre because it is a credible alternative to its big rivals, according to the centre manager.

A recent study showed The Liberty, which has seen an influx of new customers, has bucked a nationwide trend of dwindling footfall on the high street.

Visitors rose by over 50,000 on the previous year, the British Retail Consortium revealed, whereas high street customers nationwide had slipped by nearly 1 per cent.

Centre manager Jonathan Poole spoke to Recorder about the figures that we reported last week.

He said:

“We have shown we are a real credible option - you don’t have to go to Stratford or Lakeside.

“I think we are offering what the customer wants. Romford people are saying we have got everything we need at the Liberty, we don’t need to go further afield.

“And we are also appealing to both the young and old.”

But he did admit luck had dealt him a good hand this year.

“It’s also partly down to the weather being better than last year,” he said.

“People are coming in and spending on clothing and footwear which is doing exceptionally well.

“I hope the other shopping centres are doing well. If we are doing well other businesses you expect do be having a knock on effect.”

He added that the prom shopper weekend and summer fashion show held at the centre last month gave a welcomed boost to trade.

New Look, one of the centre’s 100 stores, was one of the businesses to experience a sales growth.

Geraldine Cadman, New Look manager said: “Our sales are up 23pc on last year which is fantastic news. We also took part in the prom shopper weekend event which was great fun and lead to all of our recommended trends selling out.”

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