14:47 Tuesday 31 December 2013

Shopping boost leads to hopes for good New Year at Burton shopping centres

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

A SUCCESSFUL post-Christmas week has left bosses at Burton shopping centre hopeful for the coming year.

The tills have been ringing out as Decemebr draws to a close, leaving managers at the Octagon Centre and Burton Place confident that the green shoots of recovery could be sprouting in the town.

Early signs show the footfall has been well up on last year at the two centres, both in the run up to Christmas and in the important sales period afterwards, leading to a happy end to 2013.

Peter Hardingham, manager of the Octagon Centre, told the Mail: “It seems to have been a very good period of time. Our footfall has been well up on last year, and that has been somewhat at odds with the national picture. We certainly are bucking the trend, and have been for quite some times.”

He put the success down to changes at the Octagon, including the relaunch of TK Maxx and the opening of Poundland in the centre, as well as a new Subway store. A number of events have also taken place in the centre, which has drawn customers in.

“There has been a lot of work done by a lot of people in 2013 to provide the best for the future, and we have reaped the benefits. We have every reason to believe these foundations will give us a good start for 2014 and beyond,” he added.

There are a number of empty units in the Octagon, which have drawn criticism in the past, but Mr Hardingham said things were on the turn, and there had been several operations ‘very interested’ in taking on the units.

At Burton Place shopping centre, the picture also seems to be positive.

Manager Glen Fowler told that Mail that figures were not due to be collated until the end of the week, but indications were that the post-Christmas sales had brought people flocking to the centre.

“We’ve been very busy, and footfall indicates that we have been more successful than last year.

“The green shoots are possibly coming, as everything seems to indicate that it;s a bit better than what we had anticipated,” he said.

Staff in Coopers Square were busy with customers on Boxing Day, but the Mail was unable to contact bosses there to see how the days since had been for the site.

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