Across the calendar year, Trafford Palazzo has introduced a blend of retail and leisure that has never before been seen in the UK. NERF AX, a first-of-its-kind family leisure concept created by a collaboration between Rocafella Leisure Group and renowned toys and games brand, Hasbro, made its entrance to the destination this autumn. This now sits alongside food and drink provided by Manchester-favourite, Archie’s, fitted out with the casual dining brand’s signature fluorescent pink interior.
NERF AX joined other innovative leisure operators such as flagship state-of-the-art bowling and gaming operator, King Pins, as well as the ‘most Instagrammable café in the world’, EL&N, with its iconic intricate floral displays and pink décor. The appeal and relevance of these brands to the destination’s visitors is evidenced by the increased visitor interest following their openings earlier in the year. Footfall is up 7% at Trafford Palazzo against 2022, and customers are both staying longer – the 97 minutes dwell far exceeding the industry average of 72 minutes – and travelling further to experience the centre, with an average drive time of 50 minutes, against a national benchmark of 19 minutes.
This year also marked the launch of TP Glow, Trafford Palazzo’s dedicated white box space that has been designed as a flexible, easy-to-fit-out opportunity for smaller businesses to showcase their brands in a physical retail format. TP Glow has welcomed over 20,000 visitors, with residencies from up to 50 brands such as luxury sample sale provider, Showcase, achieving one of its highest conversion rates yet.
Since its acquisition by Peel in 2021 and rebranding as Trafford Palazzo, the destination has undergone a significant transformation to become the UK’s first next-generation experience centre, welcoming major international operators, innovatively imagined debut concepts, and cornerstone flagship venues. Further signings will be announced in early 2024, with even more exciting and unique brands set to join Trafford Palazzo in the New Year.
Mark Whittaker, Executive Director – Property Investment & Management at Peel, said: “2023 has been a truly landmark year for Trafford Palazzo, with the opening of TP Glow and the launch of debut concepts like NERF AX and King Pins, all contributing to the centre’s unique profile. Our vision for Trafford Palazzo is really coming to fruition, with 2024 set to be equally as exciting. More brands of international renown – including some experiences you won’t find anywhere else – are set to join the destination, so it’s a fantastic time to be part of the Trafford Palazzo community.”
Trafford Palazzo has put on an extensive events programme throughout the year, including a four-week ‘TP Feel Good Fest’ centred around wellness that attracted over 24,000 visitors, and a month-long Summer Carnival featuring a range of free activities. More recently the centre has launched a ‘Miracle on 34th Street ’-inspired activation: ‘Christmas on TP Street’, running across December and offering visitors winter crafts, themed performers, and live music shows.
The community continues to sit at the forefront of Peel’s and Trafford Palazzo’s ethos, with the destination curating several charity-focused events, including the Bridgewater Way Walk. Over 450 participants undertook a five-mile challenge in aid of The Christie Charity, raising over 54,000 Euro. Other events such as the Wave of Light evening, in support of Baby Loss Awareness Week, raised funds for Tommy’s, the UK’s largest charity that carries out research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth.
Looking ahead to 2024, Trafford Palazzo continues to benefit from its position in the heart of TraffordCity. Nextdoor to Trafford Palazzo is the site for groundbreaking wellbeing resort concept, Therme Manchester, with on-trend racket sports operator Padel Club, and mixed-use neighbourhood Trafford Waters, set to bring even more visitors, residents, and experience-seekers to the area. This news also follows the announcement that a developer for the new outdoor surfing venue opposite Trafford Palazzo has been chosen, adding to the diverse sporting, leisure, and activity options within TraffordCity, which already includes skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, skydiving, and Trafford Golf, Europe’s premier golf practice facility.