Shopping focus boosts numbers

Couple shopping at Freeport Fleetwood

Couple shopping at Freeport Fleetwood

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A QUIRKY advertising campaign has brought a national award for Freeport Fleetwood which has reported buoyant trading for the first quarter of the year.

The shopping village produced a TV “shopping forecast” campaign as a twist on the traditional weather forecast – and it worked.

Footfall was up by 11 per cent over the campaign period and the ad itself was honoured at the British Council of Shopping Centres annual Purple Apple Awards.

Freeport picked up an Apple Pip for effective marketing.

Darren Winter, centre manager at Freeport Fleetwood, said: “We are thrilled to have such a positive start to the year and the win at the Purple Apple Awards is the icing on the cake.

“We have continued to invest in advertising the centre and are proud to see how effective the results have been.

“It’s a challenging economic climate but it is important to look at new and innovative ways of targeting consumers and I am positive that the rest of the year will be just as successful.”

An idea from the company’s marketing department was then carried forward by an advertising agency.

The awards were presented by actress Meera Syal at the Brewery Conference Centre in London.

Mr Winter added: “It was a significant part of our total marketing budget.

“Like anything, we have to get a return on that investment. We went for it and it paid off. The figures we pulled in were brilliant.

“If we have support our retailers by driving ourselves a bit more that’s what we are here to do. They have the value in the shops: we need to get people here.”

Freeport a three per cent increase in footfall and turnover in the first three months of this year.

The centre has 45 big-name stores and attracts more than one million visitors each year.

It has benefited from a national trend which, in April, saw sales volumes nationally increase by 2.8 per cent.

According to the Office of National Statistics all sectors showed year on year growth apart from household goods stores where sales volumes fell by 3.5 per cent.

Over the period March 2011 to April 2011 retail sales volumes increased by 1.1 per cent.