Strong sales results at outlet centre Gloucester Quays could be early indicators of a national shift to value-led shopping for brands and increased consumer confidence, outlet centre bosses hope.
Gloucester Quays designer outlet centre is part of the £400 million 60-acre development, in the City of Gloucester next to the historic docks, museums and Gloucester Cathedral.
Office of National Statistics (ONS) data released on 18 September 2020 revealed retail returning to pre-covid levels of trading with a 2.5 per cent increase in spend compared to February 2020’s pre-covid trading figures and whilst total retail spend is still down on 2019’s year on year figures by 4.8%, some areas such as home improvement are seeing growth.
Jason Pullen, Managing Director of Lifestyle Outlets which operates Gloucester Quays, said: “August has been a very encouraging month for us here at Gloucester Quays, whilst Eat Out To Help Out has helped to drive footfall back to the centre, spending hasn’t been limited to F&B, in fact trading figures comparative to February’s pre-covid figures have retail spend up by 42 per cent which is phenomenal.
“And while nationally some fashion retailers are seeing a slow return to conventional bricks and mortar retail, down 15.9 per cent against February 2020 in the ONS study, this hasn’t been the case for Gloucester Quays with sales from our fashion brands up by 40 per cent. This has in part been supported by back to school sales, with footwear retailers such as Clarks accounting for some of this success comparative to February – however sportswear and outdoor clothing brands such as Nike, Adidas and The North Face have also performed well as the nation perhaps understandably continues to buy comfortable clothing over occasion wear.
“Finally, just like the ONS’s data for growth in the homeware and DIY, our homeware brands have also enjoyed success throughout August, up 39 per cent against February’s figures so I think we can see this type of spending continue as people ready their homes for Christmas.”
Jason added: “Our average transaction value per customer has also increased, which helps support this notion of frugal shoppers considering where they spend their money for the most reward. It goes without saying, we’re a long way from finished with this pandemic and the impact it will continue to have on retail but hope at the same time, these early indicators could be a sign of better things to come for outlet retail and Gloucester Quays.”
Gloucester Quays has welcomed four new brands to the centre since re-opening in June with Tommy Hilfiger, Beauty Outlet, Molton Brown and Neon Sheep as it continues to bounce back.
Gloucester Quays is a thriving £400m 60-acre development. Located in the City of Gloucester next to the historic docks, museums and Gloucester Cathedral, all within easy reach of the Cotswolds.