Leeds VQ remains strong against retail downturn.
The Victoria Quarter (VQ) shopping destination in Leeds city centre continues to perform well despite the marked downturn in retail trading across the city and indeed the UK.
Reporting strong footfall figures and occupier demand, owner Bank of Ireland has confirmed that attendance at its annual ‘Shopping Affair’ event attracted record figures and most of its 76 retailers are trading ‘up’ on previous years.
More than 9,300 shoppers turned up in just one night to celebrate the recent ‘VQ Shopping Affair’ which took a Las Vegas theme and coincided with Leeds Shopping Week. The vision was more than pleasing with many visitors laden with bags from designer stores including Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Harvey Nichols - all taking part in a huge celebration of shopping in Leeds.
“Spending was up and the mood was far removed from that of cautious spending. In fact the atmosphere was electric and our retailers got really involved with the celebration with promotions across the board”, said centre director John Bade. “It just goes to show that with the right blend of shops and focused customer targeting we can still deliver for our tenants in these hard times.”
VQ differentiates itself as a premier shopping destination with a strategic blend of up market brands to create a one stop destination that is unique in Leeds. It attracts around eight million ABC1 visitors each year – one million of those during the December festive season alone. Because of its focused lettings strategy VQ achieves a very exact customer following that delivers higher than average spend for its retailer occupiers. Recently signed tenants include a second store for All Saints dedicated to menswear, Folli Follie, Radley and Thomas Sabo.
Michael Pettibone, asset manager at Bank of Ireland commented. “Since acquiring VQ in 2006, the centre continues to exceed our expectations and we remain 100% committed to VQ as a long term investment. Despite current economic climate, VQ is fully let and continues to generate demand from upmarket brands that are selecting this location against most other centres in the north.”
Heralded as ‘The Knightsbridge of the north’, VQ is home to some 74 world leading fashion and lifestyle brands including Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, LK Bennett, Agent Provocateur, All Saints and Harvey Nichols (the first outside London).
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