The Boulevard, Banbridge bucks national retail trends signalling strength in outlet shopping model

After what was predicted to be a gloomy time for retail, The Boulevard in Banbridge finished out 2022 as it started by bucking national retail trends with record sales and footfall figures, signalling the strength of the outlet model.

As Northern Ireland’s only premier designer outlet, The Boulevard saw an uptick in festive shoppers from Black Friday onwards as people came out in their droves. Black Friday recorded an increase of +19% in sales on the same period last year, with the day itself proving as popular as ever with shoppers, seeing a +22% increase in sales.

While many expected Black Friday crowds to abate as Christmas approached, The Boulevard continued to swim against the current and maintained a steady flow of shoppers right up until it closed for the holidays. December finished as the scheme’s strongest month on record as sales increased +25% on 2021. Figures also showed a +7% increase in footfall for December, which is the opposite of what many high streets and national retail figures are recording.

With on-site activities and a real feel-good factor at the scheme, the Banbridge outlet saw an increase in dwell time meaning customers were staying for longer and spending that bit more every time they visited.

In 2022, the Lotus Property owned scheme saw the arrival of many new retailers including kate spade new york and New Look which helped attract more customers than ever before as well as brands like Yankee Candle and local store Houstons, ensuring the scheme remains a retail and leisure park with something for everyone.

Retail Director at The Boulevard, Chris Nelmes said:

“The retail mix at The Boulevard is the strongest it’s ever been and the outlet model, quality brands at discounted prices, has really come into its own, especially as purse strings tighten for many.

“2022 saw the scheme go from strength to strength by consistently increasing our sales and footfall throughout the year. We were delighted to welcome new household names, local retailers and upsize current tenants at the scheme as well as being the choice for some brand’s first outlet store. It is an exciting time for The Boulevard, and we are looking forward for what is to come in 2023.”

While some predictions and trends for the retail industry may look less favourable in 2023, The Boulevard enters the new year at its highest occupancy in history, competing on both the local and global stage.