Bumper Christmas for Derry city centre

Debenham's in Derry.
Debenham's in Derry.

Derry appears to be bucking the trend in the retail sector with reports of an ‘excellent’ trading period in the countdown to Christmas.

In the last three months, over 2.36 million people have visited Foyleside Shopping Centre alone and that is before numbers could be collated for the last few days of Christmas shopping. The figures also do not include how many people visited the centre on ‘Super Saturday,’ which is always the peak trading day over the festive season.

Across the UK there has been a 5% drop in footfall in retail outlets, but Foyleside Shopping Centre is reporting just a 1% decrease.

Fergal Rafferty, Foyleside Centre manager, told the ‘Journal’: “Foyleside had an excellent trading period over the last quarter with over 2.36 million visitors through the Centre.

“Nationally UK footfall is reporting a decrease in foot fall of 5% whilst Foyleside at the moment is reporting a decrease of 1%, so the Centre is performing ahead of national stats.”

Mr Rafferty said that traders within the centre have “reported healthy sales over the Christmas period and are anticipating this trend to continue.”

It is believed that a strong euro to pound exchange rate and a competitive retail offering has brought an influx of cross-border shoppers.

The President of Derry’s Chamber of Commerce said this Christmas ‘seems to be busier’ for traders in the city.

Redmond McFadden said local traders work hard throughout the year to make sure the ‘whole customer experience of shopping is an enjoyable one’.

“Derry is a city that has so much to offer and we hope to keep people coming into our city centre to support our local traders not only at this time of year, but throughout the rest of the year too.”