THE new year has got off to a flying start for Portsmouth’s shops.
The shopping figures for December are in, and they show that throughout Commercial Road, Cascades Shopping Centre, Gunwharf Quays, Southsea Shopping Centre and Cosham High Street the tills have been ringing loudly.
The success of Portsmouth’s Christmas shopping season has led to an across-the-board declaration that Portsmouth is bucking the retail trend.
Rhoda Joseph, centre manager for Cascades, said: ‘We’re very, very pleased with the number of shoppers we’ve had, and the general business of the car park.
‘Retailers have reported good sales figures and the centre footfall for the Christmas period was every day the highest of the whole year.
‘Portsmouth seems to be bucking the national trend.’
Colin Walker, district centres co-ordinator for Portsmouth City Council said the picture was the same throughout the city.
He said: ‘We don’t have any hard figures at the moment, but anecdotally it’s been very good.
‘Footfall has been up on previous years in the city, with 5,000 more visitors in Commercial Road, and 1,000 more in Palmerston Road.
‘Shoppers are voting with their feet, and they’re out and about in the city.’
Gunwharf Quays says its figures for December have beaten last year’s numbers.
Peter Emery, director of Gunwharf, said: ‘In retail we’re up by 13.5 per cent, which is fantastic news.
‘In the bars and restaurants we’re up by 16 per cent.
‘Our footfall has remained fairly flat, which suggests we’ve had the same number of people here but they stayed longer and spent more.
‘It’s fair to say for Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays it’s a tremendous result.’