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Rushmere in Northern Ireland sees busiest bank holiday weekend on record

Tom Bottomley
17 May 2021

Northern Ireland’s largest and most successful retail destination, Rushmere Shopping Centre, saw its busiest bank holiday weekend on record from Friday 30 April to Monday 3 May, with over 136,000 visitors following the lifting of restrictions on non-essential retail.

Located in Craigavon, some 30 miles to the west of Belfast, the centre saw visitor numbers more similar to those seen in the last few days before Christmas in a normal trading year.

Rushmere Manager, Martin Walsh, said: “Though we had been anticipating a busy return last weekend, we were delighted to record an unprecedented number of shoppers visiting the centre through the four-day shopping period. It was very encouraging to see.

“Customers and staff were delighted to be safely back out and about and the buzz was fantastic. From our research, shoppers were returning not only to bag themselves a bargain but also to spend some of their lockdown savings on a pre-summer splurge. We were also delighted with the strong adherence to mask-wearing and social distancing throughout the complex.”

Rushmere had also added an outdoor dining terrace for customers ahead of the bank holiday weekend, which proved “extremely popular”. Restrictions on indoor dining are expected to be lifted on May 24, subject to approval.

Prior to the reopening of non-essential retail, stores including Matalan, Curry’s PC World and Argos had reopened for click-and-collect services on April 12, while hospitality outlets including McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Five Guys and Nando’s continued to provide a mix of delivery and takeaway services.

Out of town retail centres and parks have performed relatively strongly compared with high streets in the last year, according to analysis from retail experts Springboard.

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