Belfast Telegraph

Shop tactics bringing jobs and investment

A Newry shopping centre has said 2010 defied predictions with a better-than-expected year for openings and investment.

Buttercrane Shopping Centre said it had witnessed a flurry of shop openings and extensions, attracting retail investment of £7.5m and creating 188 full time and part time jobs.

The centre had benefited from the rise in cross-border trade around two years ago.

Figures showing a good year for the centre were released by Buttercrane’s agents BTW Shiells Commercial.

Centre manager Peter Murray said: “I will admit I started 2010 with a bit of a nagging worry — understandably so, with the unsettled economic outlook and the predicted fall in cross-border trading.

“However, our retail growth strategy at the centre has produced handsome results and we are delighted to be ending the year on such a high note. It is especially rewarding to learn that we have created 188 jobs at the centre in the past two months, which is a real coup for the Newry community and the local economy in general.”

Primark last week unveiled an extension to its Buttercrane store and Mr Murray said a new Poundland was also trading “exceptionally well”.

“To add to the good news, Trespass outdoor clothing has opened its third Northern Ireland store at Buttercrane, plus fashion retailers Blue Inc, Miss Glam and an improved D2 clothing store now are adding considerably to our already impressive fashion offer.

“CEX technology and entertainment traders have also joined us, and their concept is proving very popular with shoppers who can now buy, sell or exchange computers, mobile phones, video games, movies, music and more.”

Criona Collins, BTW Shiells retail director, said: “As Buttercrane’s leasing agent, BTW Shiells is delighted to report such confident figures for this buoyant shopping centre.

“Despite the economic conditions we have achieved a steady stream of new lettings including Blue Inc, Poundland, Pasttimes and the state-of-the art Primark store, all of which are attractive high street names.”

She said Buttercrane demonstrated growth was possible in retail. “Timely investment is important in safeguarding existing value and in creating the basis for future success of any shopping centre.”

Buttercrane opened in Newry 21 years ago and was later joined by The Quays, the city’s second shopping centre.

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