Ten years on - Victoria Square celebrates £2 billion in sales
VICTORIA Square is marking the 10th anniversary of its Belfast opening by revealing that it has generated £2 billion in sales across all of its retailers and leisure operators in the landmark complex.
Opened on March 6 2008, it is marking the ten-year milestone with a number of events and activities to celebrate, and also highlighted its significant contribution to the Northern Ireland economy.
The centre, which is the north's largest ever retail-led commercial development, has generated total sales of £2 billion and currently employs almost 2,500 staff - some 116 of whom have worked at Victoria Square since day one.
It has contributed around £7.5m in rates every year since opening, a total of more than £75 million which has gone into the city and wider economy.
And with over 800,000sq ft of retail space, the construction of Victoria Square extended the amount of retail space in the city centre by almost a third in 2008 and heralded a new dawn for retail in Northern Ireland.
Centre manager Michelle Greeves said: “We're proud that Victoria Square has become the linchpin of the city's retail proposition, a significant employer and a major contributor to the economy through rates and our wider supply chain.
“What shoppers want today, both in terms of new brands and customer experience, wasn't available in Belfast before the centre was built in 2008.
"The quality of Victoria Square has enabled us to attract new brands to Belfast for the first time, such as House of Fraser, Apple, Hollister, Michael Kors, TM Lewin, Mango, FatFace, Boux Avenue, Pretty Green, Cruise, Hugo Boss, All Saints, Five Guys and Zizzi, to name a few.”
Katharina von Schacky, divisional head of real estate markets at Victoria Square owners Commerz Real, added: “The significant investment we have put into the destination and a well-executed, long-term leasing strategy has made it the city's dominant retail and leisure destination.
“Commerz Real continues to use its resources and industry knowledge to ensure that this position is maintained and we look forward to Victoria Square continuing to outperform in the region. We remain committed to not only to Victoria Square, but to Belfast as well.”
Criona Collins, head of retail agency at Lambert Smith Hampton, Victoria Square's asset manager, said: “Our team has been involved in the leasing of 31 units over the past five years, which has kept the centre's leisure and retail offering fresh, attractive and exciting.
“In the last 12 months we have worked on some exciting investments, including the £5 million renovation by House of Fraser, which saw the entrance of new brands including Charlotte Tilbury, Nars and Frédéric Malle.
“The new brands we bring to the centre reflect the shopping aspirations of the city and the team at Victoria Square remain focused on adapting to rapidly shifting consumer trends and delivering a vibrant retail destination for the future.”