Record week in trading history for The Boulevard as Northern Irish retail opens up
Northern Ireland’s leading outlet retail destination has reported a record first week of trading following the hugely anticipated easing of local lockdown restrictions.
The Boulevard, owned by Lotus Property, welcomed the largest number of visitors to the scheme in its entire trading history, heralding good news for its tenants as turnover taken ranked among the top five trading weeks since the scheme opened; and most importantly, represented the highest turnover achieved outside of a Christmas trading period.
With sales up a staggering 108% year-on-year and footfall up 73%, compared like-for-like to the same week in 2019, the May Bank holiday weekend and the week following, proved a huge success for the scheme and its tenants, who include Molton Brown, Joules, Crew Clothing, Dune London, GUESS, Kurt Geiger, Jack Wills, Next, M&S and GAP.
For the tenants themselves, many have confirmed The Boulevard stores were among the best performing in the district, country and even Europe – with many trading top in their region comparable on the same May Bank Holiday period in 2019.
Chris Nelmes, Retail Director at The Boulevard said: “Experience on the site has been nothing short of amazing and customer turnout has exceeded all expectations. We knew from previous lockdowns that anticipation to get back out to enjoy a physical retail environment was high but we were also aware that there still may be some trepidation and caution among visitors.
“This week’s footfall and sales figures combined however, has been truly phenomenal and we are really encouraged that it continued all week long – even in the face of bad weather. We can attribute this to our investment in ensuring the scheme is viewed as a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all, to attract shoppers in the first instance, encourage longer dwell time and repeat visits following a positive experience.”
Alastair Coulson, Managing Director of Lotus Property, commented: “As landlords we are hugely encouraged by the confidence being shown by the Northern Irish consumer – something we have always known to be a strong incentive when retailers have considered The Boulevard as their next location. This has only become strengthened post-pandemic as customers show a preference for a physical shopping experience. Our ongoing investment in The Boulevard as Ireland’s most exciting retail destination has paid off, when we see the trading figures being enjoyed by so many of our tenants.
“We are further encouraged by the continuous feedback from customers that has revealed The Boulevard is viewed as one of the safest, most inviting shopping environments on the island of Ireland as a result of its ground level outdoor mall, zero touch point free car parking and the health & safety initiatives confidently implemented by our onsite team as we navigated how to deliver an award-winning retail experience in a post-Covid world.”
Lotus Property purchased the scheme, formerly known as The Outlet in 2016, rebranding to The Boulevard in 2018.