Metquarter celebrates sales hike despite vacant stores

Liverpool's designer retail arcade, Metquarter, claims to have bucked the national economic slowdown with a 26% increase in like-for-like sales in February compared to the same period last year.

Metquarter management predicted the increases will continue during the months ahead as new stores bed in and extra tourist numbers due to Capital of Culture year take effect.

Despite assurances the centre would be fully let over a year ago, there are still two void stores remaining at the 44-unit centre, and several original retailers have been replaced due to underperformance. The mall operates split terms with occupiers paying a mix of flat rent and share of turnover.

One of the two vacant spaces is expected to be taken shortly, according to marketing manager Jennina O'Neill. Four new freestanding kiosks are also expected to be installed on the ground floor of the mall to increase revenue.

Customer numbers visiting the 136,000 sq ft outlet on Whitechapel had increased by 10% on this time last year, while footfall trends nationally have decreased, Metquarter said.

O'Neill, Metquarter marketing manager, added: "We are delighted with the addition of new stores including DKNY Jeans, Azendi and Hamilton's and we are now concentrating our efforts on creating luxury mall units which will help to further compliment the retail mix within the Metquarter."

Metquarter was developed by Milligan before being sold to Alanis Capital and Anglo Irish Bank for £90m last summer.

Savills is letting agent.

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