Post-Christmas sales frenzy delights store bosses in Leicester
Shopping centre bosses are optimistic about the future after the boost of the post-Christmas sales period.
Hundreds of thousands of shoppers have visited Fosse Park, Highcross and Haymarket over the past week to try to pick up a bargain.
Fosse Park was expecting more than 40,000 people through its doors yesterday, following the 275,000 shoppers who visited last week.
Centre manager Adrian Young said: "It's exceeded our expectations. Retailers are really pleased, given the climate we're in.
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"We're optimistic about the future and I wouldn't expect any of our retailers to get into trouble in 2013.
"We lost JJB earlier this year, but we have replaced it with a Nike store and trade is going well.
"Last week, we had about 275,000 visitors and, on Boxing Day, Gap's sales were the second highest recorded for the store, with its Trafford Centre shop coming top.
"Given that last year we had a full trading week up to new year, then I think our visitors this year are on a par."
About 65,000 visitors were expected to pass through the doors at Highcross yesterday.
Deputy general manager Mark Colton said: "The last week in December saw almost 379,000 shoppers visiting Highcross for post-Christmas bargains and thousands walked through the doors yesterday.
"December has been a very successful month for us with like-for-like sales up three per cent and visitor numbers nearing two million. It's a fitting end to what has been a successful year.
"Year-on-year sales are up by five per cent and we've continued to expand our retail and leisure offer.
"Going into 2013, talks are under way with a number of exciting brands that we hope will join us at the centre in the coming months, which we hope to announce soon."
The centres both said they could not compare last week's figures with the main post-Christmas sales week last year, as it was not a full trading week.
The Haymarket shopping centre in Leicester has also been busy.
Centre manager Phil Toyne, who begins his retirement today after nearly 26 years, said: "The week before Christmas we had 371,000 shoppers through the doors.
"We would normally expect in the region of 250,000 so it's been very successful from our point of view.
"I think that people are more determined to get a bargain in light of the recession and left it quite late to get one.
"We were very pleased to see a good flow of visitors on New Year's Eve."
Among yesterday's bargain hunters were Belinda Bramley and daughter Ulana Kejzerko, 13, from Cropston.
Belinda said: "I've been into Highcross twice today and it's got busier and busier. It's a bit manic with people trying to find what they want.
"We thought we would have a look and if there was something that caught our eye we would buy it."
Margaret Bennett, 65, from Earl Shilton, was trying to find some china plates at a knock- down price.
She said: "I haven't seen anything I like yet but I'm not giving up."
Alister Hussain, 29, from Billesdon, said: "A lot of the sales started before Christmas anyway, but it's still worth a little look."