Meadowhall confirms major store expansion as it reveals strong sales since reopening
A major fashion brand is expanding into a larger unit at Meadowhall, it has been confirmed.
Levi’s is taking over new premises three times the size of its current store at the Sheffield shopping centre, with the new outlet set to open next week.
The move comes as Meadowhall’s centre director Darren Pearce said sales throughout the mall had been strong since non-essential shops reopened on April 12, matching the same period in 2019 despite lower significantly lower footfall due to social distancing.
Mr Pearce said clothing stores had proved especially popular, with customers queuing outside Primark and Zara, JD Sports also doing particularly well and Levi’s enjoying a resurgence too.
He revealed that Zara is looking to move into larger premises within Meadowhall, where he said its existing branch is one of the chain’s ‘most intensive pound per square foot sites in the world’.
"Footfall is down for all the right reasons, because we have to maintain social distancing, but the really positive thing for me is that sales are level with the same period in 2019,” said Mr Pearce.
"People are coming more purposefully and when they’re spending money they’re spending more, which is what we expected to see….
"One interesting phenomenon is that the jewellery category within the centre is doing incredibly well.
"You have people with a little bit of pent-up cash spending it on high-value items, particularly watches, and we have a couple of high profile brands which are going to take stand-alone units because of that phenomenon.”
A new Sheffield Store selling some of the best goods from local businesses is set to open in May and Mr Pearce said the Ronnie O’Sullivan pop-up store had proved popular despite his early exit from the World Snooker Championship.
He said that could be a sign of things to come at Meadowhall as it looks to support the wider reopening of society, with potential tie-ins for big events like festivals and performances at Sheffield’s theatres.
Meadowhall has announced that its popular giant giving box, originally installed for Christmas, will now be a permanent feature at the centre after raising £1,800 for good causes.
Located on Upper Level High Street towards Boots, visitors can use contactless payment to easily donate £1, £3 and £5 to The Children’s Hospital Charity, St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield Mind and Age UK Sheffield.
“Our visitors have always been excellent at helping us to provide essential support to our local community, and we’re thrilled that shoppers are able to continue supporting these great causes quickly and safely when they come to Meadowhall,” said Mr Pearce.
Meadowhall is gearing up for May 17, the date from which indoor dining and drinking will be allowed again.
Mr Pearce said all the restaurants and cafes in its Oasis dining quarter were preparing to reopen, with similar measures in place to those before Christmas.
The centre's Vue cinema is set to reopen two days later, on Wednesday, May 19.
Safety measures such as one-way systems and hand sanitising stations will remain in place throughout Meadowhall to prevent the spread of Covid, but the resumption of indoor dining means the centre’s overall capacity will increase slightly.