Despite the threat to retail success posed by the pandemic since 2020, both schemes have enjoyed some headline successes, with The Boulevard welcoming seven new brands on site including Claire’s Accessories and Luke 1977’s first store on the island of Ireland and an annual growth in sales of 23%.
In 2021, The Junction submitted a planning application for the UK’s largest garden center retailer, Dobbies, to open a 10,219 sq m store. The £10m investment will create in the region of 150 new full and part-time roles, and is expected to attract a footfall of around one million visitors per annum. Their retail and leisure offering continued to grow over the past year, with the arrival of American lifestyle and footwear brand, Skechers, Synge & Byrne and Heat MMA all opening their doors in 2021.
Commenting on the positive end to 2021, Lotus Property Managing Director Alastair Coulson said:
“It has been an extremely challenging nineteen months for the retail industry, but we at Lotus Property are particularly proud of how hard everyone involved with The Junction and The Boulevard have worked to buck the retail trends and come out the other side stronger than ever.
Looking forward to 2022, both retail and leisure destinations have big plans and should see the positive trends continue. We are delighted to extend our food and beverage offering too, as construction is also underway for a new Tim Hortons Restaurant and Drive-Thru scheduled to open early 2022 at The Junction.”