BUSINESS was booming in Chichester over Christmas as a million shoppers headed to the city centre.
Footfall figures released by Chichester District Council show a significant increase in the number of people visiting the city on previous years.
City centre manager Kim Long said: ‘December’s figures are the best that we’ve seen since 2006, with over one million visitors coming to the city, and on December 23 and 27 we had figures reaching unprecedented numbers of more than 60,000 people.’
Overall footfall figures showed a reverse in a declining trend over the last three to four years.
In 2007, 12.2m people visited the city. This decreased to 10.9m in 2008, 9.8m in 2009 and 9.4m in 2010, but last year rose to 10.5m.
Figures for November and December combined were back up near the two million mark, a figure seen back in 2006.
‘Men’s clothing store Dartagnan reported Boxing Day was their busiest yet, which is supported by the footfall figures,’ said Mrs Long.
‘Wednesday, December 21, and Thursday, December 22, also reflected busy days for some independents. Top Shop reported locally that sales were good reflecting again the peak footfall days and a busy Christmas Eve.
‘This is brilliant news for the city.’
Last new year figures showed that on Monday, January 3, 20,884 people came to Chichester, while on Tuesday, January 3, this year there were 15,286 people.
The council said the fall was not unexpected as the previous week’s footfall was so high and the fact the weather was quite bad.