Centre:MK bucks footfall trends with new retailer strategy

Shopping destination Centre:MK, in Milton Keynes, has credited a strategy of appealing to a diverse range of brands with helping it buck the trend for falling footfall.

The centre has announced that it saw a 2.5% year-on-year increase in its footfall figures for 2019, at a time when many retail destinations are seeing a decrease in visitor numbers. A number of new retailers have opened stores in the centre in recent years, while some existing tenants have upsized to larger units.

Ten new retailers joined Centre:MK in 2019, including Neon Sheep, Newbie, Typo, Trailfinders, Lovisa and Lush.

The centre saw more than 3 million visitors over the Christmas period, helped by initiatives such as 6am opening on Boxing Day so customers could grab bargains in the sales. Nearly a thousand customers queued overnight to get early access to the Next Boxing Day sale.

Customer behaviour has also changed during the rest of the year, according to the centre. It says that Mondays and Sundays are increasingly popular days for shoppers to visit, and that post 5pm footfall has also increased.

“2019 has been a great success for Centre:MK with shoppers continuing to flock to our centre,” said Centre:MK centre director Kevin Duffy. “We are pleased to have welcomed so many new brands into the centre and look forward to welcoming more in 2020. Our £50 million investment programme including our award winning guest services and ‘smart’ car park reflects our ongoing commitment to both our retailers and shoppers and we believe Centre:MK will go from strength to strength as we move into the new year. ”

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