BUSINESS is booming is not a phrase heard very often over the past decade.

With a catalogue of big high street names, as well as smaller independent traders going out of business, it is good to see that a Bolton retail park is thriving.

Just months after a huge new Next store opened, Middlebrook is welcoming four new businesses to the park ­— Card Factory, Thomas Cook Discovery Store, TGI Friday and Tapi Carpets.

This adds to the variety of retail and leisure choices on offer, with shops, restaurants, and a cinema.

It is good to see big names being added to sites such as Middlebrook because it reinforces confidence in the park, as well as the area as a whole. It is not just people from Bolton who visit the park, but, with the convenience of the motorway and train station, people from across the North West and beyond.

It is also good to see demand for people wanting to visit stores and restaurants, rather than shopping online.

This demonstrates the changes traditional retail parks have had to undergo following the surge in internet shopping. Sites such as Middlebrook have had to become leisure destinations that will attract visitors who will spend several hours there combining shopping with a meal, or for a meal and a night out at the cinema.

It is not just the high street that has suffered from online shopping ­— the key is being able to adapt to meet changing demands.