Record numbers visit Friars Walk on opening weekend
Friars Walk, NewportÂ’s new retail and leisure destination, has attracted a record number of shoppers to Newport city centre on its opening weekend.
Since Queensberry Real Estate unveiled the scheme on 12 November, over 350,000 shoppers visited across the course of the opening weekend, with 102,000 being welcomed on the opening day alone.
As one of only a few new shopping centres to launch in the UK this year, the 390,000 square foot open air shopping centre is fully integrated with the neighbouring Kingsway Centre and the wider retail offer in the city centre.
It is estimated that the centre will double retail sales in the city, adding £120 million per annum. In addition, Newport’s catchment is predicted to increase from 211,000 to 367,000 with an estimated footfall of 10 to 12 million per annum.
Stuart Harris from Queensberry Real Estate said: “We’ve been blown away by the response of everyone to Friars Walk, the response from the both the public and traders has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Designed by Leslie Jones Architecture, Friars Walk opened on schedule with 25 of the stores, six of the restaurants and the eight screen Cineworld multiplex cinema trading. This includes retail anchors H&M and Next, and a 90,000 square foot Debenhams department store.
Further restaurants are due to open in the coming weeks including Chiquitos and Frankie and Benny’s. In addition, a Marks and Spencer Food Hall will launch in early December in time for the Christmas rush.
Ty Edwards, sales director for Debenhams, said: “We have enjoyed the most exciting start for our Newport store and visitor numbers have been incredible, far exceeding our expectations. We smashed our sales target on opening day by mid-afternoon and have achieved strong double-digit growth on our sales targets every day since.
“Our full department store product offer is being very well received by shoppers, with fashion and gifting in particular performing extremely well. Our new food offers are also incredibly busy considering the great choice within Friars Walk.”
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