Four years after its much vaunted extension, St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff continues to attract shoppers in their droves with footfall hitting a record 39 million in 2012. Joanne Skilton, Retail & Leasing Director at Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) which runs the centre in partnership with Land Securities, talks to RLI about why St David’s is THE first choice for both UK and international retailers coming to Wales, and how the centre has put the heart back into retail in the Welsh capital.
Any successful centre aims to introduce new stores and brands to entice more customers through its doors, but at Cardiff’s premier St David’s shopping centre, the new retailer count is higher than most.
In the last year alone ten brands have opened new stores, eight of which are firsts for Wales. These include designer names such as A|X Armani Exchange, Cosy Club and Vivienne Westwood, and family favourites such as Hamley’s – all of whom are proving immensely popular with shoppers.
Since the extension to the centre was completed, more than half of the retailers that have opened at the centre are debut stores for Wales – proving the centre’s strength as a top retail destination which boasts 199 stores in total.
In 2012, St David’s was listed as a ‘Supercentre’ in Trevor Woods’ Going Shopping 2013 report, which ranks centres on attractiveness to tenants and shoppers alike.
Footfall has seen strong year-on-year growth since it opened – reaching 39 million during 2012 with average dwell time over an hour – with shoppers spending on average 70 minutes in the centre in 2012 and more than half visiting the centre more than once a week. The reasons for this are plenty, but the retail mix that the centre boasts is one of the biggest attractions for the centre’s primary catchment.
The retail mix at St David’s is certainly enticing – ranging from anchors such as John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks and Spencer to iconic domestic brands that include Superdry, Cath Kidston, Karen Millen and River Island – which took a major new store in the centre last year – as well as a superb mix of international brands, with the likes of Gap, Apple, Guess, Hollister and Mango all taking space in St David’s to confirm a leading presence in Wales.
For the full article, please see the February 2013 issue.