Liverpool’s St Johns Shopping Centre is bucking the national retail trend, with sales up every month in 2018 and more than 200,000 extra shoppers coming through the doors already this year compared to 2017.
As the UK high street struggles to cope with online competition, with customer numbers dropping 3% * nationally, St Johns has seen an increase in every area of the business, outperforming regional and industry benchmarks.
Sales are up 3% year-on-year for each month of 2018, with May showing the strongest rise, and footfall is up 1.5% for the year.
St Johns general manager Neil Ashcroft said the figures supported its aim to increase dwell time and customer spend through improved signposting and brand awareness.
“They show our shoppers are staying longer, spending more, and we’re attracting a wider demographic of visitors to the centre,” he said.
“And it’s not a coincidence that, for the same period, our customer reviews on Google and TripAdvisor have also significantly gone up. Again, that demonstrates we’re succeeding by investing in customer experience and through our commitment to offering great service.”
St Johns’ blend of household name brands and smaller independents is another key factor in the centre’s consistent growth.
“St Johns has a great balance of independent retailers and the larger premium national brands such as New Look, Matalan, Sainsbury’s and everything in between,” added Neil. “There’s a real span of brands, which is important in our success, and we’re attracting new retailers all the time so there are more exciting announcements to come later in the year.”
St Johns has also capitalised on its prime city centre location, as Liverpool plays host to the 2018 celebrations marking 10 years since it was European Capital of Culture.
“With so much going on in the city, this is the perfect year to visit Liverpool and we can see the showcasing of our centre is paying dividends,” said Neil. “We’ve got the offer that clearly is right for customers who live in Liverpool and those who are visiting.
“We’re in the centre of the cultural hub of St George’s Quarter and we’re at the gateway to the shopping district so we have the combined benefit of those two aspects and we’ve absolutely made the most of things like the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at World Museum Liverpool because we’re right on the doorstep.”
Neil said St Johns was now looking ahead to continued sales and customer increases – and to its own celebrations in 2019.
“There’s an emotional attachment to St Johns, we’re an iconic Liverpool landmark, and our customers have a loyalty to our brand which we appreciate and never take for granted. Next year we’re 50 so we want to build on the great results this year so far, and be even more successful in our 50th year.”
* Statistics sourced from retail performance analysts Springboard (http://www.spring-board.info).
"St Johns has a great balance of independent retailers and the larger premium national brands, such as New Look, Matalan, Sainsburys, and were attracting new retailers all the time."
Neil Ashcroft, general manager
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