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Leeds shopping centre celebrates bumper year
The Merrion Centre, in the heart of Leeds thriving Arena Quarter is doubly celebrating 2019 following confirmation of one of its most successful festive periods and an overall yearly growth in footfall.
In addition, it looks as though the new decade is going to be another bumper year for the centre as a whole raft of new venues have already been confirmed to open in 2020!
9th November 2019 saw the Merrion Centre officially kick start their new look festive season with the annual ‘launch of Christmas’ event. Over 21,000 visitors were welcomed throughout the course of the day (+10% YOY) with guests enjoying a whole host of pop up acts and entertainment, as well as having a first glimpse at the brand-new festive lighting implemented throughout the scheme.
Success continued in the run up to Christmas with the centre’s first ever fully immersive Santa’s grotto experience. ‘The Elfington Factory’ has been hailed as the Merrion Centre’s most successful grotto on record, welcoming over 2,500 excited children through its doors.
Against an increasingly tough retail and high street back drop, 2019 proved a highly successful year overall for Leeds longest standing shopping centre as it welcomed a whopping 15 new tenants to its retail, health and beauty and leisure offering. This saw diverse independents including Blue Sakura, Ambassador Barbering and Rude Tattoo Studios joining some of the centre’s newest national brands including Iceland, PizzaExpress and Starbucks. *(see footnotes for further detail)
This expanding tenant portfolio, coupled with the centre’s focus on unique experiential activity contributed to attracting an additional 148,387 visitors to the centre during the last 10 weeks of the year (a +6.69% uplift versus the same period in 2018) and resulted in over 11.2m (+0.12%) internal visitors overall for 2019.
Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS), owners of the Merrion Centre are confident 2020 is going to be another triumphant year for its single largest asset, as it confirms a whole raft of new brands have chosen it as the location for new premises including Dominos (who are to open a new pizzeria on Wade Lane) and established Oriental Supermarket, Hang Sing Hong who will launch two multi-Asian restaurants on Wade Lane and Merrion Way.
In addition, 2019 saw TCS successfully fully let 275,000 sq.ft office portfolio which forms part of the Merrion Centre scheme and is split over 4 buildings. This included new lettings to Hegemonic and YMCA along with lease renewals to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), Hoare Lea, Blacks Solicitors and First Locate. These new additions join other longstanding tenants of TCS including Leeds City Council, StepChange Debt Charity & PureGym.
Edward Ziff, Chairman & Chief Executive of TCS said: “We are extremely proud of our accomplishments at the Merrion Centre in 2019. With an abundance of new student accommodation set to open right on our doorstep in the Arena Quarter, we look forward to introducing even more customers to our diverse mix of shopping and leisure destinations.
As we step into 2020, we are confident our latest tenant announcements, coupled with our ongoing regular calendar of experiential events, will continue to enhance customer experience as we further evolve our offering to provide even more places to shop, eat, drink and ‘be Merrion’ in the heart of Leeds”.