MERRY Hill has held onto its ranking as the number one retail destination in the Midlands, according to a study of the UK’s leading shopping centres.
The Black Country shopping mall, owned by Westfield, was also named the eighth busiest in the country following research carried out by Trevor Wood Associates.
To hang onto the region’s top spot – the centre which is home to more than 220 different stores beat off fierce competition from Westfield Derby and Birmingham’s Bullring – ranked 12th and 14th in the UK respectively.
Kelly Reed, Merry Hill marketing manager, said: “We are delighted to have held on to the top spot as the region’s favourite shopping destination.
“It has been a challenging year for retail, but also an exciting one for Merry Hill. We have seen some exciting new stores open, including well-known brands such as Jones Bootmaker, a flagship Superdry and high-fashion retailers like TWENTY9 offering designer goods “We aim to make Merry Hill an exciting shopping destination for people of all ages.”
She said events including last August’s Big Bear Bash, featuring Little Charley Bear, and the launch of the autumn/winter fashion collection at the Big Wardrobe event, featuring body-scanners with 3D technology, proved a big hit – as did the family-oriented Christmas lights switch-on event with the CBeebies and The Zingzillas and the annual school’s Christmas Choir Competition.
Trade was also strong in the run-up to Christmas, she said – adding: “We saw more shoppers than last year at our week of midnight shopping before Christmas Day and we expect to see this continue as people look to pick up some excellent sales bargains in the New Year.”
Trevor Wood Associates use footfall, size and attractiveness of shops and facilities available to rank the UK’s top shopping centres.