Following the opening of its second store in Northern Ireland, and its first within a retail park setting, landlord figures have revealed that garden retailer Dobbies has had an unprecedented impact on sales and footfall in its first six weeks trading.

The Junction Retail and Leisure Park in Antrim, owned by Lotus Property has seen footfall increase by 116% and sales volumes increase by 67%, as reported by its existing tenants which include Nike, Mountain Warehouse, Next, Sketchers, Trespass etc.

Opening its doors on 5th October, the 110,000sq ft store is the largest in Dobbies’ UK portfolio, offering outdoor and indoor plant areas; gardening products; seasonal items; pet, gift and toy departments as well as cookshop and home décor; a foodhall, a Little Seedlings children’s soft play area and new restaurant and coffee shop, serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

The new store opened with the retailer’s full festive product range as well as an extensive programme of seasonal events including Santa’s Grotto, a Quiet Grotto experience for those with additional needs, Santa’s Breakfast and Santa Paws, which is fully sold out.

Another significant footfall driver has been Dobbies’ exclusive partnership with local grocery and wholesale partner, Musgrave Group, who are supplying a specially curated range to the 3,539 sq. ft. foodhall, including Signature Tastes, Donnybrook Fair, Happy Pear and Frank & Honest Gourmet Coffee.

Chris Flynn, Centre Director at The Junction said: “Dobbies opening was a hotly anticipated moment in the calendar, following a year of significant redevelopment of the scheme to build this flagship store. We knew it would land well with customers but we’ve been absolutely shocked at just how much of a positive impact it has had on footfall and sales – not just customers keen to visit the garden centre but also how that has translated into sales at the tills of our existing tenant roster.”