RVP reports increase in footfall during Christmas

Rumoured Royal Victoria Place sale could be 'good thing for Tunbridge Wells'

Royal Victoria Place defied those forecasting a tough Christmas for retailers after 1.5 million people visited the shopping centre in December.

This figure represents an increase of 15 per cent on the previous year.

In the four days leading up to Christmas 226,908 walked through the doors of the centre, with over 50,000 visiting on Christmas Eve alone.

Shoppers were taking advantage of new store openings, including Swarovski, Bluebird Teas and Whirligig.

Sales were also being driven by the release of the latest film in the new Star Wars trilogy, with merchandise relating to the franchise selling particularly well.

The resurgence of Lego continued unabated with shops reporting it to be the top selling toy of the season.

Strong visitor numbers also continued into the New Year, with an eight per cent increase in shoppers on January 2.

Royal Victoria Place centre manager Nicky Blanchard, said: “Our performance over the last few months reinforces the role strong town centres can play in shaping the behaviour of shoppers.

“Both national chains as well as local independent traders have been able to capitalise in the strong growth in footfall that we have delivered.

“Looking forward to the future, we are confident our proposals for Royal Victoria Place will benefit the whole of Tunbridge Wells, not just the shopping centre.

“The shoppers I have spoken to have told me they are really excited by the plans.”

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