Liverpool One on its opening day in May

Grosvenor claims 20m visitors in Liverpool One’s first year

Grosvenor will today mark the first birthday of Liverpool One with all the verve and razzmatazz that shoppers have come to expect from the city's shiny new retail district.

Fireworks over Chavasse Park at 10pm this evening will top off a day-long party filled with samba bands, face-painting and balloon-modelling.

The developer – which has suffered £350m of write-downs so far on the 43-acre scheme – also rolled out the statistics to mark the occasion.

Grosvenor claims more than 20 million people have visited Liverpool One in the first year.

There are now 120 shops open; a year ago 39 stores opened in the first phase on 29 May 2008.

A further eight are due to start trading shortly: Everton FC, J for Jeans, Reiss Ladies, Top Shop, Envy, Wheels of Sport, Red Hot World Buffet and the large linked restaurant and bar Chaophraya and Palm Sugar on Chavasse Park.

Estates director, Chris Bliss, who heads a team of 110 staff at Liverpool One, said another half-dozen lettings were in advanced negotiations. The retail element is 96% let.

Grosvenor said the best-performing brands – there are 64 names new to the city – have been in women's wear, health & beauty and kids.

Late night trading accounts for 17% of all footfall. Restaurants on the terrace overlooking Chavasse Park have taken a combined total of £13m in sales since opening as part of the second phase in October 2008.

Grosvenor claims there is more spend per head in Liverpool than anywhere in the North West, including Manchester.

The leakage of retail spend that has damaged Liverpool for years also seems to have been significantly stemmed if not halted. Since Liverpool One opened, city centre footfall has increased 18%, whilst overall, retail footfall across the UK was down 5%.

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