December saw Buttercrane Centre enjoying a great Christmas trading period peaking at 165,000 visitors in a single week with a quarter of these visitors coming from across the border.

The centre's end of year report cites a + 4% increase in footfall in December compared to the same period in 2016.

National footfall in UK is down by 3.83 % in November and December but Buttercrane has bucked this trend.

This was primarily attributed to the centre’s wider appeal as recent lettings have ensured the centre is almost fully occupied - with recent new store openings including Superdrug and Burger King.  The Brexit effect on Euro exchange value has continued to drive greater numbers of ROI shoppers throughout 2017 and especially in the final quarter of the year.

Peter Murray, Manager, Buttercrane Shopping Centre.
Peter Murray, Manager, Buttercrane Shopping Centre.

Peter Murray Buttercrane Centre Manager said: “We’ve over 95,000 shoppers a week visiting the centre regularly, peaking in December to over 165,000 in a single week showing a year on year rise of 4%. Sales of gift cards are also up significantly, which demonstrates increased confidence in the centre following two years of repositioning ourselves with an expanded retail and food & beverage offering and further good news to come on lettings in Q1 2018.

“The Euro value certainly had an impact throughout 2017 when we saw on average 25% of shoppers visiting from ROI as compared to 12% back in 2015, pre-Brexit. Nonetheless, our regular shopper continues to be from our primary catchment areas of South Down and South Armagh. We have actually seen the centre attract more regular visitors from this core catchment area, and as a business we are always grateful for the continued and ongoing support Buttercrane benefits from locally.”

Activity was very good at the start of the St Stephen's Day sales from 11am on Tuesday with many traders reporting they were very happy with how the stores performed in the run up to Christmas.

Peter added: “I am delighted with the tremendous trade achieved by Buttercrane Centre.

“The centre has enjoyed significant investment and attracted a number of new brands this year which has added to our appeal and increased our offering significantly."