Shopping centre sees footfall rise in last 12 months

The Boulevard shopping centre outside Banbridge says it is “bucking the trend” with a 25% year-on-year increase in turnover and 7.3% upturn in footfall.

The Boulevard said its figures represented a “significant difference” to Northern Ireland retail footfall, which they said was down 7.3% during April.

The complex, which rebranded from The OUTLET in March, has opened stores from adidas, Asics and Beauty Outlet, as well as shop refits from retailers such as GAP, Paul Costello and Calvin Klein.

The investment has also provided a number of further developments on-site, including the installation of a new mall covering to provide a sheltered walkway for shoppers.

Alastair Coulson, managing director at Lotus Property, said: “The current economic climate and the unknown entity that is Brexit has weighed heavy on the retail industry in the past 12 months, bringing with it a domino effect of closures from top retailers such as M&S, House of Fraser, Mothercare and Toys R Us - to name just a few.

“It’s not all doom and gloom for the retail industry this month though. At Lotus we have strived to stay positive and continued to push forward with our development and redevelopment plans at many of our retail destinations, no more so than at The Boulevard in Banbridge, located between Belfast and Dublin.

“We are always focused on enhancing the shopper experience, really understanding what they want and have undertaken extensive customer research to ensure we can roll this out to create the perfect environment to maximise growth.”

Lotus purchased the scheme in May 2016, with a 22% footfall increase from May 2016 to May 2018.