Fewer shoppers in town...but they spent more

Pescod Square, Boston.
Pescod Square, Boston.

Shoppers were fewer in number at Boston’s Pescod Square this festive period, but appear to have been happier to splash the cash.

This is according to centre manager Andy Pottle, who told The Standard that while footfall was seven per cent down last month on the previous December, sales tended to be up – in some stores by as much as 20 per cent.

The sales boost came despite the impact of the floods.

Mr Pottle said: “A lot of people were thinking of other things rather than shopping.”

He said the decline in footfall followed a trend of people turning away from the high street over recent years due to online shopping and the recession. He attributed the sales increase to people having more disposable income, but also greater confidence about the future.

He said: “I’m very upbeat. The results were better than I thought they would be. The fashion seems to have done particularly well.”

And the early indications from January are ‘very positive’ too, Mr Pottle said.

He said: “I’m very pleased with the conversations I have had with my store managers. It bodes well for the future.”

Work is also ongoing to find tenants for the centre’s vacant units such as the former HMV.

Mr Pottle said: “We’re still working hard. It’s not in our interest to have empty units.”