Liverpool city centre mall is also reporting a footfall for 2019 of 13m – the same as 2018 but bucking the trend with 2019 described as the ‘worst year on record’ for UK retailers. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s St Johns Shopping Centre is bucking the gloomy UK shopping mall trend with footfall at 13m for 2019 and a £10m rise in occupier revenues.
The 13m figure is the same as 2018 but seen in the context of plunging footfall in high streets and malls across the UK the centre, which opened in 1969, is showing considerable resilience.
Earlier this month, the British Retail Consortium described 2019 the “worst year on record” for the UK retail sector and the first year to show an overall decline in retail sales. Separate data shows footfall in UK malls and high street is down10% in the last seven years.
St Johns Centre manager, Neil Ashcroft, said: “Thanks to ongoing investment in customer experience and new senior appointments to the management team, St Johns hasn’t just weathered the retail storm but thrived, making 2019 our best ever year.
“We fully understand our shoppers and continue to focus on customer satisfaction, community engagement and brand partnerships. We believe in working collaboratively with our stores and this is why we have seen seven full store refits during the course of the year.
“St Johns Shopping Centre is home to a unique blend of independent retailers and larger premium national brands. We have something for everybody, and we pride ourselves on making it an enjoyable place to spend time.”
In 2019 St Johns introduced the UK’s first accessible shopping app and extended its opening hours. The car park increased the number of disabled parking spaces and introduced free electric car charging.
It is Liverpool’s largest covered shopping centre and boasts more than 100 retailers including some of the best of the high street names, such as Aldi, Matalan, Wilko, Poundland and F Hinds.
Mr Ashcroft added: “We’re confident that we can make 2020 an even more successful year for St Johns as we continue to develop our retail environment which combines the best of Liverpool and the best of national retail brands.”