Christmas trading strong at York Designer Outlet

AS more high street retailers have collapsed following poor Christmas trading, York Designer Outlet has reported some of its highest ever levels of Christmas trading.

December 1 set a new record for Saturday trading in the centre’s 15-year history. A record amount of shoppers made December 27 its second-best trading day in the centre’s history.

The results were driven by strong sales across gift and fashion categories, said Mike Thomas, centre manager, with 27 per cent growth year on year across perfume and cosmetics between December 17 and 30, the peak Christmas period.

Sales of designer collections and footwear were also up 20 per cent year-on-year and 13 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Entertainment retailers, such as Bose and That’s Entertainment, also saw strong double-digit growth.

Mr Thomas said: “Christmas has exceeded our expectations, with record trading in the 15-year history of the centre. We had six new stores open in 2012, which helped attract more festive shoppers than ever to the unrivalled shopping experience of designer and high street brands for less.”

He said the growth was attracted by the centre’s value proposition.

“People are looking for great value in these times of austerity. People are willing to travel and come and shop with us,” he said.

He added that the presence of Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland and The Ice Factor’s 900sqm ice rink at the centre for a third year helped attract 45,000 visitors during its time there.

“We’re continually growing here in the York Designer Outlet and we’re hitting these kind of levels of sales year on year.

“We’re improving our brand mix and the brands are more sophisticated in providing great stock levels and replenishment, so they’re not just getting all the extra smalls and double XLs. They have great ranges, sizes and colour ranges.”

He said new womenswear retailer Sandwich had already opened since Christmas and they were in talks with new retailers for all the empty units at the centre, and there would be refurbishments at O2, Pret a Manger, the Bodyshop and Gap throughout the year.

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