Boxing Day shopping hailed a success as thousands visit Hartlepool shopping centre

An estimated 10,000-plus visits were made by shoppers to Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre on Boxing Day.

Sunday, 26th December 2021, 4:29 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th December 2021, 4:30 pm

Shoppers made their way to the centre despite the bad weather, with small queues forming outside a number of retailers, including River Island, JD Sports and Card Factory, ahead of the stores’ opening at 10am.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre manager Mark Rycraft has said he is "very pleased” with the number of visitors, saying there was a nice atmosphere at the centre on Sunday.

Mr Rycraft said on December 26: "We’ve got loads of retailers in sale as well, and a good 60 or so retailers open.

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Shoppers queueing outside River Island on Boxing Day./Photo: Frank Reid

"The likes of Deichmann, and River Island and TJ Hughes have all got really good sales on at the moment, so that’s what’s bringing customers in, but also they’re coming in for the social aspect too.

"McDonald’s is quite busy at the moment, so families are coming just to take some time out.

"It’s great, it’s nice atmosphere here today.”

He added: "Our footfall is the same, if not slightly better than a general Sunday, so we expect to see around 10,000-11,000 visits today.”

People waiting for Card Factory to open on Boxing Day./Photo: Frank Reid

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It builds on a successful Christmas Eve for the shopping centre, with Mr Rycraft saying footfall was five per cent up in comparison to Christmas Eve in 2019, the last before the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

"We had really good Christmas Eve as well. Our footfall on Christmas Eve was a lot better than the previous year and also 2019,” he said.

"We stayed busier for longer on Christmas Eve.”

However, no influx of visitors is expected at the centre over the coming bank holidays, with Mr Rycraft saying that footfall “will steady off.”

Wishing everybody happy holidays, he added: "Huge thanks goes out to the centre team who worked right through Christmas Eve.

"We’ve got a really good dedicated team and the retailers themselves work tirelessly really hard to make sure things are in tip top position.

"Really proud of everybody and wish everybody a happy Christmas and New Year.”

Larger retailers in town such as Next and Morrisons are reopening on Monday after remaining closed on Sunday.

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