BOLTON is booming in the run up to Christmas.

By Sunday Crompton Place expects to have seen 165,000 shoppers pass through its doors in the space of only a week.

Market Place Shopping Centre said footfall had been above regional averages, while trade at some stores at Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park was also up on last year.

Bosses at Ena Mill in Atherton said it was on course for a record-breaking festive season, with sales up by 80 per cent compared to last Christmas and with more than 12,000 customers having visited the shopping centre in the first two weeks of December.

Rod Neasham, centre manager at Market Place, said: “We have enjoyed some great festivities at Market Place this year with treats including a free 3D cinema and free Santa’s grotto, sold out breakfast and tea with Santa events and incentivised free parking throughout.”

Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place Manager, added: “Business has been very brisk this week in the final run up to Christmas.

“We’re encouraged by the footfall figures, which are at the same levels as last year.

“Early figures for this week suggest that by the close of play on Sunday, we will have welcomed 165,000 shoppers through the door.”

And retailers at the centre have reported good sales, while bosses have organised family-friendly events to draw in shoppers.

A spokeswoman for Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park said: “Middlebrook retailers have had a steady lead up to the Christmas period from November.

“New retailers Smyths Toys, Footasylum and Specsavers have performed very well since arriving at the park with all seeing a big increase in sales over the last two weeks. More established retailers Next and M&S have both seen an increase on the season from 1.8 per cent upwards.

“All retailers expect to see a lot of shoppers out this weekend with tomorrow and Monday being the busiest days for last minute purchases and food shopping.”

Top selling toys at Smyths have included Jake and the Neverland Pirates Bucky Ship, Leappad and Innotab 2, Furby, Destroyer Tank, Hot Wheels Mega Garage, Spiderman, TV board games and the Lego range.

Simon Yates from the recently-renovated Ena Mill said: “We have been really busy and this week will be our best ever since we reopened.

“The number of shoppers and the increase in sales has taken us by surprise.”

Town Hall chiefs praised traders’ hard work in bringing people into the town centre. Keith Davies, Bolton Council’s director of development and regeneration, said: “The feedback we’ve had is most are reporting better performance than last year and the comparisons with their other stores is that Bolton’s are up there at the top.”