Rushmere Shopping Centre has officially registered the 2018 festive trading period as its most successful in 42 years following a record surge in visitor numbers in December and over the festive period, it has confirmed .
Based between Armagh and Belfast in Craigavon, Rushmere is one of Northern Ireland’s largest and most popular retail destinations, covering 350,000 sq. ft. over covered mall space. It also incorporates an additional and integrated 130,000 sq. ft retail park, making the entire retail complex among the largest in the UK and Ireland.
At near full capacity following a series of key new additions including global restaurant chains Five Guys and Nando’s, fashion brands DV8 and Vogue and sports retailer Intersport – Rushmere recorded a 15.1 per cent uplift in shopper numbers over the key Christmas trading period (Saturday 22nd to Saturday 29th December 2018).
Footfall numbers were also up significantly for the full month of December, rising by 8.1 percent on last year, while an extra 7.9 percent more shoppers came out on New Year’s Day when the centre was open from 10am to 6pm.
For the full quarter, from October to December, footfall rose by 13.6 percent.
Sales of Rushmere gift cards, which can be used in every store and restaurant, increased by 9.1 percent in December.
Martin Walsh, Rushmere centre manager, said: “Footfall across the centre has been extremely positive, with double-digit rises for the key Christmas week, for December and for the full quarter. The final weekend before Christmas is always a bumper trading weekend and this year we enjoyed our busiest yet since we officially opened in 1976.
“Following a record 2018 and year-end, we’re confidently looking forward to 2019 as we wish all our visitors and retailers a very happy and prosperous New Year.”
Five Guys and Nando’s opened in early October as part of a £2 million strategic investment by Rushmere to provide shoppers with a greater hospitality choice, creating more than 100 new jobs and boosting footfall for the month to a record 17.4 percent.
Rushmere Shopping Centre is one of Northern Ireland’s largest retail destinations, located between Portadown in Lurgan just 30 miles to the west of Belfast.
With 1,800 free car parking spaces and incorporating more than 70 big name shopping and restaurant brands including Dunnes, Debenhams, TK Maxx, H&M, Top Shop, Costa, Starbucks and Sainsbury’s, its increasing popularity continues to drive rising footfall and growing investment.