Last minute shoppers finally beat the worst December freeze for 30 years to stock up for the festive period – with a record 200,000 flocking to Birmingham’s Bullring in one day.
As the snowfalls relented, the region’s biggest shopping centre enjoyed its busiest day of 2010 on Tuesday.
Tim Walley, general manager at the Bullring, said: “Saturday and Sunday were affected by the snow, with Saturday 35 per cent down on last year and Sunday 19 per cent down.
“But, hopefully, we will claw some of that back. We were looking to attract something like 200,000 on December 23, the busiest shopping day of the year.
“Christmas Eve is always harder to predict but we would hope to match last year. The weather at last appears to be on our side, and there should be no problems for people trying to get into town.
“The Bullring is trading very well and we are still managing to entice new retailers and international brands. And the Selfridges factor certainly helps – it’s a fantastic store.”
Paul Birkett, general manager at the Touchwood complex in Solihull, said: “Despite the bad weather we estimate that over two million people will visit the centre during December.
“Over the last seven days we have seen around 400,000 people pass through our doors, with December 23 set to be our busiest Christmas trading day, with footfall up by 24 per cent and an estimated 100,000 people finishing off their Christmas shopping.”
At Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, which dates back to 1875, centre manager Gay Faulkner said: “As the weather has improved, more people are coming in to shop here now.
“Overall 2010 has been mixed with pockets of buoyant trading. The money doesn’t seem to be out there and for many, the threat of job losses has meant people have reined in their spending.”