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Early success at Highcross mall

About 400,000 shoppers descended on Leicester’s new Highcross shopping centre over its opening weekend.

Last Thursday’s launch day of the centre, which has been built by developer Hammerson, attracted 125,000 shoppers –more than had been expected – and helped retailers to beat their trading expectations.

Irish womenswear retailer A-Wear made its UK debut at the centre, which welcomed a swathe of fashion retailers. Stores new to Leicester include young fashion chains All Saints and Zara and designer mini chain Cruise. A John Lewis department store anchors the scheme. John Lewis said sales were 38% above target between Thursday and Saturday.

Stefano Sutter, managing director of Inditex UK, which owns Zara, said: “This store has its own demographic, with a lot of younger shoppers.”

A-Wear area manager Aideen Doran said she was pleased with the reaction. “This is the first store to feature the new storefit we trialled at Pavilions shopping centre in Swords near Dublin.”

Highcross is an extension to The Shires mall, which includes House of Fraser and Debenhams. The extension has added 322,800sq ft, or 120 shops.

A Hammerson spokeswoman said: “Retailers’ sales were well above their expectations.”

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