Liverpool One brings 2m visitors a month, say Grosvenor

Michael Hunt

Grosvenor is claiming footfall at Liverpool One has risen to two million a month which is a like-for-like increase of 11.5% on May last year.

The developer has announced its latest statistics for the 43-acre scheme to mark the second birthday of Liverpool One, which will see a programme of events to compliment the city's first ever Pageant of Power.

Although he could not disclose the actual figure, estate director Chris Bliss said sales had also increased by 37% in May 2010 compared to May last year.

Bliss said: "The recession has had an affect on Liverpool One but not a significant one. We still remain fairly cautious and have to be careful and those retailers that have closed have also closed nationally. Liverpool One has seen more of a positive effect during the recession compared to the UK as a whole.

"According to KPMG British Retail Consortium, sales in the UK as a whole were up 4.5% in February and in April sales were down 2.3% which highlights the recession having an affect, but our retailers at Liverpool One are telling us trading is 26% ahead of their other chain outlets, which shows Liverpool is generating a significant growth. Almost 97% of the retail units at Liverpool One are now let."

Bliss said that there are now 137 shops open at Liverpool One; an extra 17 stores compared to May last year and 98 more than when the first phase opened on 29 May 2008.

Amongst the new brands being brought to the city for the first time includes Kirsty Doyle, and Fat Face and Grosvenor has also managed to attract Habitat back to the city after a 20 year absence.

Bliss continued: "Other new store openings in the last 12 months have included Jaegar, Pandora, Reiss, Radley and the Hilton and Novotel hotels. We're proud of the fact that 12% of our retailers are new to the North West (or were when they opened) and of the number of new brands we've attracted to the city. Our next big opening will be Jamie's Italian in mid-June.

"We have five strong deals in the pipeline which I can't say much more about and then we've got our 60,000 sq ft home quarter opening in October/November this year in Hanover Street.

"At Liverpool One specifically, late night trading now accounts for 20% of our overall footfall, a real sign that the culture of shopping and leisure in the city is changing. The restaurants and bars on the Leisure Terrace overlooking Chavasse Park have had a great 12 months, with sales in excess of £36m.

"We have 135 management staff at Liverpool One with overall retail jobs reaching around 4,500 of which I think 80% are new jobs. The best-performing brands are health and beauty, footwear, and lingerie.

"Liverpool has been named in the top three UK city break destinations for the second successive year by readers of travel bible, Condé Nast Traveller Magazine, which puts the city in front of Bath, Oxford and Manchester. We expect an estimated 26.6 million people will visit by the end of 2010."

Bliss also added that tomorrow's Liverpool Pageant event, which is part of second anniversary celebration since Liverpool One opened, will attract 15,000 people and bring an additional £1m to the Liverpool economy.

Organised by Grosvenor, Liverpool City Council and other partners, the Liverpool Pageant of Power will include displays on air, land and sea.

Race and rally cars, motorbikes and power boats will converge on The Strand in the city centre from 6.45pm on Tuesday 25 May.

Bliss is also joining another seven staff from Grosvenor to cycle 243 miles from its offices in Mayfair on Thursday in time to arrive to Liverpool One on Saturday 29 May to mark the actual second anniversary since the £1bn Liverpool One scheme opened.

Bliss added: "We are hoping to raise a minimum of £15,000 for the Liverpool One Foundation through the ride. More than that, however, we want to raise awareness of the ongoing need for such funds within Liverpool, so that more people and organisations contribute on an ongoing basis."

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