Lowry Outlet enjoys sales boost

David McCourt

Peel Outlets' Lowry shopping centre saw sales increase by 17.7% at its Plaza restaurants in 2012 as year-on-year footfall, which recorded over 5m visitors last year, rose 6% from 2011.

The growth of MediaCityUK has boosted weekday sales at The Plaza, and the centre benefits from secondary footfall from the Lowry Theatre, Imperial War Museum North and Manchester United Football Club.

The Lowry Outlet's Plaza is home to Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Lime, Café Rouge and the Harvester Restaurant.

Kate Metcalfe, manager of Pizza Express, said: "We rarely have quiet periods in the Lowry Outlet these days as the MediacityUK development gathers pace with tenants such as the BBC, Salford University, SIS and now ITV Granada moving to the area, it has boosted sales during the week as well as us enjoying the busier weekend traffic."

The Plaza's sales were also boosted in December by the introduction of the centre's first Victorian Christmas market event. The Lowry Outlet recorded its highest weekly footfall figures in over 11 years of trading, with 137,482 shoppers visiting the entre.

Footfall saw a 90% increase over the event period and total sales for the restaurants were up by 58.7%.

Sean Thackeray, manager of Bella Italia, said: "You wouldn't expect food and drink markets to benefit restaurants, but we found ourselves to be incredibly busy during the Victorian Christmas market event.

"We also benefit from the number of increasing events in the area, such as nearby Lowry theatre shows, BBC events on at MediaCityUK piazza and council-led events. It helps that we're located near to Manchester United as well, as we get traffic from the football crowds before and after games."

Jason Pullen, managing director of Peel Outlets, said: "The restaurant sector is a key area we're looking to expand at the Lowry Outlet, and its performance in 2012 demonstrates the increasing demand for dining is already here.

"There's huge potential with the centre being next to one of the largest commercial and residential developments in the UK, and we're looking to capitalise on this local community and really position the Lowry Outlet's plaza restaurants as the dining capital of the Quays."

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