Basingstoke's Festival place enjoys encouraging December footfall and sales
Reports continue to filter through that Christmas was better than hoped for many businesses and retail destinations and on Wednesday, Basingstoke mall Festival Place added to the upbeat mood.
It said that despite the prevailing uncertainty pre-Christmas, Festival Place “demonstrated positive trading performances for 2021 and during December, reflecting its continued resilience and relevance as a key retail and leisure destination within its wider catchment area”.
The mall saw a visitor uptick of 13.4% in the year to December and outperformed the UK Shopping Centre benchmark, both on a national and regional basis. But visitors accelerated further in December. Despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the introduction of Plan B guidance by the government last month, the total number of visitors in the month starting 28 November increased by 36.8% vs 2020.
Monthly sales were also up 37.3% year-on-year and more than half of the centre’s retailers saw average transaction value increase vs 2019.
It was also boosted by more people working from home as weekday footfall proved stronger than usual and it seems there was a 26.3% increase in visitor numbers on Wednesdays.
Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “While the impact of Covid-19 on the industry continues to unfold almost two years after the pandemic struck, Festival Place has maintained a strong trading profile, outperforming the UK Shopping Centre Benchmark during retail’s peak period. These encouraging trading figures are testament to a significant asset management effort and a strategic leasing plan that has continued to evolve and improve the Festival Place offer.”
The company saw more than 20 new leases or lease renewals last year and those signing up for space included Skechers and Monsoon Accessorize.
The 20-year-old 1.1 million sq ft mall was acquired by AEW in 2015 and is the highest ranked shopping centre outside a major UK city.
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