Independent retailers in Warrington are cautiously optimistic about the opening of the £120 million redeveloped Golden Square shopping centre at the end of this month.
The 675,000 sq ft scheme in the Cheshire town will be double the size of the old building, with an additional 60 shops.
Independents that are located close to the centre told Drapers they were upbeat about potential footfall, although shops in the old town further away were less optimistic.
Sheraz Tariq, manager of Duffer Menswear in Bridge Street in the old town, said retailers had to be pro-active. As a result, he said he was negotiating to relocate to Golden Square. "It will affect businesses that don't move and will take business away from the old market area," he said.
But Michael Hancock, chairman of Warrington's Town Centre Partnership and managing director of womenswear and kidswear store Hancock & Wood on Bridge Street, welcomed the scheme. He added that a planned £75m regeneration of the Bridge Street area would draw shoppers into the old town.