SHOPPERS helped set new records in terms of footfall at the centre:mk in the week leading up to Christmas and on Boxing Day.
More than 26,000 people visited the shopping centre in the first five hours of trading on Boxing Day as stores launched their post-Christmas sales, with some people queueing outside Next at 1.15am.
Next, which completed its refurbishment and extension earlier this year, reported increased sales of 30 per cent, with House of Fraser sales up nine per cent on last year.
In the week leading up to Christmas, John Lewis reported 15 per cent sales increases on last year with shoppers spending more than £4 million – a figure last reached in 2007. Boots also hit the £1 million mark.
At Marks and Spencer’s Food Hall, 60 per cent sales increases were reported and at BHS there were increases of up to six per cent.
Robert Hall, centre director at thecentre:mk, said: “It has been incredibly busy with queues of over 2,000 people developing at 1.15am on Boxing Day outside Next. This is a crucial time for retailers and the phenomenal success we have seen over the Christmas and sale launch period is evidence of the strong local and regional pull of thecentre:mk.
“The sales are now in full swing and we are confident that with some huge reductions in stores including House of Fraser, John Lewis, Boots, Next, BHS and Marks and Spencer we will continue to attract more crowds as we move into 2013.
“We will continue to welcome guests to enjoy all we have to offer in the centre and this year’s Christmas display ‘Land of Enchanted Dreams’, complete with miniature railway, will remain open until January 2, 2013.”