Business

Rushmere thrives as new restaurants drive visitor numbers to record highs

Martin Walsh, centre manager at Rushmere, where visitor numbers increased by a record 17 per cent last month

TWO more units are to be filled at the Rushmere shopping centre in Craigavon before Christmas, bringing 30 new jobs.

Fashion and footwear brand DV8, along with women's fashion brand Vogue, will both be adding to the centre's strong retail weeks, bringing the total number of people employed at the centre and retail park to more than 1,500.

It follows Five Guys and Nando's creating 100 jobs when they opened last month as part of a £2 million strategic investment by Rushmere to provide shoppers with a greater hospitality choice.

And it comes as visitor numbers to the centre increased by a record-breaking 17.4 per cent in October.

Rushmere said its new, extended dining offer and a strong retail mix had encouraged more shoppers to visit compared with October last year, and that many of those had also tended to stay longer, boosting evening footfall figures by 25 per cent alone.

“Our new restaurants have proven a real draw and we're delighted by the response and support given to these additions,” Rushmere centre manager Martin Walsh said.

“These leading global brands complement our enticing retail choice, driving a strong increase in footfall, dwell time, customer and retail demand.

“Combined with significant further investments by many of our retailers, including O2, which has just completed a major refurbishment of its store, we believe customers are guaranteed an unrivalled shopping experience.”

Savills acted on behalf of Rushmere owner Central Craigavon Limited in securing the DV8 and Vogue signings.

Its head of retail Paul Wilson said: “Rushmere can rightly celebrate a milestone year of growth in 2018, with exciting new brands and an enhanced hospitality offer that rivals many of the UK and Ireland's largest centres.

“With shopper footfall for the whole of Northern Ireland growing an average of 2.7 percent in October, according to the latest Northern Ireland Retail Consortium figures, Rushmere's footfall jump to more than 17 percent demonstrates just what an achievement this is.”

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