The centre has demonstrated that it is continuing to defy doom-and-gloom within the retail sector and is bucking trends, going from strength-to-strength since its acquisition by AEW in December 2015.
When comparing Black Friday 29th November 2019 with Black Friday 23rd November 2018, footfall at Festival Place increased by +15.4% year-on-year. Over the same period revenue also increased by +18.9%, YoY.
Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “Over the past few years AEW’s repositioning programme has worked hard to diversify the offer at Festival Place. Instead of needing to repurpose existing retail space, as is becoming commonplace in the sector, we have worked to convert previously redundant space to support the evolution from a shopping centre to a popular retail and leisure destination. This has been paramount to our ongoing success and continued visits by consumers, from an increasingly wide catchment, and interest from retailers, dining and leisure operators. This success is evidenced in the trading performance achieved across the Black Friday trading period.”
Categories including homeware, leisure, dining and health and beauty, at the largest shopping and leisure destination in North Hampshire, performed particularly well and reported increased revenue. Homeware saw an increase of +101% YoY, with leisure reporting a +61% rise YoY. Restaurant and fast food categories achieved +10.4% and +30% YoY increases respectively. Finally, health and beauty reported an uplift of +7% YoY.
Across the subsequent days, Festival Place continued to achieve strong results with footfall up +4.3% and revenue up by +11.7% when comparing Saturday 30th November 2019 with the same period in the previous year. Comparing the following day, Sunday 1st December 2019 vs. the same period in the previous year, footfall increased by +2% and by +10.5% when contrasting Cyber Monday 2019 with Cyber Monday in 2018.
Further illustrating its success, Festival Place has signed 81 new tenants and more than 108 existing tenants have renewed their leases and invested into their stores since the centre was acquired by AEW in December 2015.
Some 24 per cent of shoppers now visit more often because the choice of shops has changed and 13 per cent do so because of changes to the look-and-feel of the centre, according to CACI research. Shoppers are visiting the centre more frequently with greater dwell time and spend compared to national averages. This is was further reflected across the period Friday 29th November to Monday 2nd December 2019 as the internal mall flow increased +8.1% demonstrating that customers are moving around the centre more, reflecting the improved look-and-feel, tenant mix and customer experience.
Festival Place is home to more than 200 retail, dining and leisure brands including Apple, Moss Bros, Mountain Warehouse, Oasis and trampoline park Flip Out. Its 27 restaurants include Côte Brasserie, Ask Italian, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, PizzaExpress, Las Iguanas, The Sushi Maki and Patisserie Valerie.
The trading results demonstrate Festival Place’s strong position at the heart of the local community. With some 1.7 million residents within a 30-minute drive, plus 11,500 office workers within a 10-minute walk, the centre offers even more than retail, dining and leisure. It features a spectrum of additional attractions to appeal to the local community including Basingstoke Sports Centre with swimming pool, gym and over 100 studio classes, a 10-screen Vue Cinema, a Flip Out trampoline park, plus office space and a library with author talks and workshops.
Joint agents for Festival Place are Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield. CBRE is the managing agent for the centre.