Shops’ tills ring out for Christmas
BOLTON town centre tills have been jangling — despite the general downward trend in Christmas trading in the North West.
The two main shopping centres in Bolton town centre both reported busy trading.
Retailers have been going through a critical few days, which for many represents a make-or-break chance to restore their fortunes at the end of a difficult 2013.
Large promotions have included a 30 per cent discount across clothing lines at Marks & Spencer, as well as price cuts at Debenhams, Argos and BHS — all of which have a presence in Bolton.
And Crompton Place manager Malcolm Angus reported a spike in activity in the week leading up to Saturday.
He said: “We had 40,000 people through the shopping centre on Saturday, taking the number for the whole week to 140,000. That was slightly down on last year — 1.2 per cent — but it was better than expected, bearing in mind that across the North West trading is down by about 2.5 per cent.”
Mr Angus added that Crompton Place would be open on Boxing Day. His optimism was reflected by Lisa Keogh, manager of The Fragrance shop in the Crompton Place.
She said: “There is a good atmosphere here and people are taking advantage of every offer so whoever has the best deals wins and we’ve got lots of brilliant deals.”
Nick Wood, at The Card and Party Centre, added: “It’s busier than usual and we’ve seen steady trading. With an extra day this year we should be up on last year. There’s a real buzz about the place and the new alterations to the floor and the lighting have made a real difference and I think that Subway opening up here has also boosted the footfall.”
Meanwhile, bosses at the Market Place also reported an increase in activity.
This is in the wake of its recent acquisition by Moorgarth and plans to build a nine-screen cinema together with string of eateries and cafes.
Centre manager Rod Neasham said: “We have had a cracking Christmas with consistantly strong footfall and encouraging sales figures.
“Volunteers from Fortalice, the charity for victims of domestic abuse, have wrapped 10,000 gifts throughout the Christmas period, we have installed a train ride for childrens and welcomed new retailers new and returning ones. All of this has really helped to increase our offer and make the Market Place a wonderful place to shop this season. We look forward to the exciting developments 2014 will bring.”
A spokesman for Game in Victoria Square said: “We’ve had a hugely exciting year in 2013, and the recent launches of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been the culmination of a truly epic season of gaming.
“This, coupled with great game releases such as GTA V, FIFA 14 and Call of Duty: Ghosts means it’s been a really exciting time for the industry and great Christmas for gamers!”
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