Primark boost is good news all round for town centre trade

Priory Meadow is now one of the most successful shopping centres in the country and has a waiting list of businesses that want to locate there.

Figures just out show the centre is bucking the national trend with footfall and sales both growing at a time when many other town centre shopping centres are in decline and struggling to survive.

Hastings Borough Council (HBC) owns Priory Meadow but has an agreement in place with a property management company called New River Group that manages the centre and deals with leases and lettings.

In the the last quarter, footfall was up by almost one per cent over the same quarter in the previous year, against an average drop of ten per cent in other major towns across the rest of the south east.

Screenshot 2019-05-07 15.43.09
The new Primark store has helped increase footfall and trade for shops in the town centre.

Increased footfall has been largely attributed to the opening of the Primark store and as that happened in the latter part of the quarter centre managers expect to see even greater increases in the next quarter.

The increased footfall is also translating into increased sales, the opening of Primark has brought a boost for other shops in the centre with almost all reporting increased sales – some even reporting sales figures up by more than ten per cent.

HBC leader Peter Chowney says: “That applies particularly to other clothing retailers who are getting the most benefit. That might not be expected, but it seems people are attracted by Primark, but then go to other clothes shops too.”

Mr Chowney also points out that all the units in Priory Meadow are currently let, even if they are empty, someone is about to move in and he says there is a waiting list for units there, “…not surprising, as it’s now one of the most successful shopping centres in the country,” he says.

Elsewhere in Hastings town centre he points to Queen’s Road which he says is undergoing ‘something of a renaissance’.

“Debenhams too has escaped closure, although its long-term future remains uncertain as it does with all Debenhams stores,” he says.

HBC has also submitted a £3m grant application to the Future High Streets Fund, a government fund to help ‘failing’ high streets, Mr Chowney says: “Even though it’s difficult to argue that Hastings town centre is ‘failing’, there are still many problems which we could address, so we’re hoping the bid will be successful.”

  • Read more about the success of Hastings town centre by following this link

Main image courtesy of Love Hastings


4 thoughts on “Primark boost is good news all round for town centre trade

  1. I have heard it all now from Councillor Peter Chowney – where did he get the idea that our shopping centre is ‘one of the most successful shopping centres in the country???’ If this is the case why have so many shops closed.

  2. That is news for me too. The Priory Meadow being one of the most successful in the country. As the other writer has pointed out, why have so many retailers abandoned it. Whenever this shopping mall comes up it reminds of yet another rather murky past connected to HBC. This as we know was once a cricket field and their were covenants to protect it. Somehow they went out the window. It was part of the Cornwallis estate. And as I remember from reading the council got involved in some rather shady deal with a Jersey registered company Speyhawk that never materialised. Pity it got developed into what it is now.
    I would hardly say Primark is a wonderful addition. Cheap smatter often marred with cheap exploiting foreign labour. Which is something I would have thought people like Socialist councillors such as Peter Chowney et al would be concerned about

  3. Where does Cllr.Chowney get his information from? Not only does he make statements about our shopping centre being one of the most successful in the COUNTRY, he claims in his manifesto of last year that one of his councils ‘Achievements’ was the incorporation of Robsack meadow into the Local Nature Reserve of Robsack wood and Churchwood. All those people who battled for so many years to prevent the council from building on this unique habitat were not best pleased to read this false claim This council did everything in their power to prevent the campaigners from saving this little habitat and it was only because due to the Local Plan Hearings held by the Independent Government Inspector Mr. Richard Hollox that this little haven was saved. The Inspector said it should never be built on and this is why the council really had no option other than to do what the Inspector recommended. But to say it was one of their ‘Achievements’ is far from the truth and grossly unfair to all those who fought for so long to save this little habitat.

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