FIVE million shoppers are expected to have passed through the doors of Tamworth’s busy Ankerside Shopping Centre by the end of this year.
In the hectic run-up to Christmas footfall sales expected to top almost £21 million in December alone at the busy shopping mall.
Stores have taken on extra temporary staff to cope with the expected Christmas rush, through into the Boxing Day and New Year sales.
At Blue Inc in the Ankerside Shopping Centre staff have been experiencing a busy build up to Christmas, which manager Daniel Nixon is expecting will continue into the New Year.
He said: “We’ve been doing well all year really and we’re already beating last year’s figures from the same period. This is our third Christmas at the centre and the business really seems to be going from strength to strength.
“We’re busy, busy, busy at the moment. We’ve got everything in store marked down to £20 or less so the bargains are really bringing people through the door.
“With the coats and knitwear included in that they are the items that are really selling fast and we’ve had a huge rush on jumpers for Christmas Jumper Day.
“There will be a sale starting on Boxing Day although I’m not sure how much lower the prices can go, and we expect that to be another busy time.”
Ankerside Shopping Centre deputy manager Jeff Wigley said: “The weeks before Christmas are always our busiest time, as people get their December pay packets and head out to buy the final batch of presents – many have been hoping for last-minute bargains as well.
“This year has been no exception, with a steady flow of shoppers making several trips, and then numbers peaking in the last full week of trading.
“Across 2015 we will have welcomed five million shoppers to Ankerside, and we believe that’s because we have a good mix of retailers, offering a wide variety of products, from major well-known names like Peacocks and Blue Inc, through to independent traders such as Vanda’s Emporium, Oh Pair shoes and DLO Cosmetics.
“Also, once again our Christmas grotto and other festive events have encouraged a lot of families to come into the centre to look for presents and generally have a good day out, with easy parking.”
At Claire’s Accessories, assistant manager Michelle Robinson said the store has been packed in the run up to Christmas.
“We’re doing really, really well at the moment,” she said. “We’ve got a huge promotion on in store where if you buy three of anything, you get three free and everything is included.
“People are getting loads of stocking fillers and little gifts with that offer and we’re having a really positive run business-wise.
“Figures at the moment show that we’re doing even better than last year already and we’ll expect that to continue once we start our sales.”
Michelle said the centre seemed busier than last year, with Ankerside attracting more customers popping in to pick up Christmas gifts.
“Fingers crossed that this will continue and we’ll see an increase in visitors carrying on in to the New Year,” she added.
Staff will be back at Ankerside from early on Boxing Day to open shop doors to bargain hunters.
“Everybody always keeps quiet about what discounts they will be offering but we usually get some very good offers for the sales, so I’m sure we will see plenty of people on Saturday December 26, and into the New Year,” said Jeff.
Open daily, Ankerside is home to 60 stores, from fashion, health and beauty to services and food and drink, and has more than 700 parking spaces. More details on festive opening times at www.ankerside.co.uk