The number of people shopping in Sheffield rose for the third consecutive year – and the figure is expected to grow further as the regeneration of the city centre continues.
Amanda Phillips, centre manager, said the annual footfall of The Moor rose to 13 million in 2018 – an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2017.
And with Next due to open in the former BHS unit by June and H&M due to move onto the former Redgates site, complete with digital screen, as well as Lane7 bowling alley, by Christmas, bosses expect the trend to continue.
Ms Phillips said: “It’s brilliant news. It’s great for Sheffield, it’s great for the retailers, it's great for the student population and it's great for us.
“The intertesting thing is footfall in 2016 was nine million, we ended 2017 at 11 million and we put that down to Primark and The Light cinema and now we are at 13 million.
“The recent rise is probably still down to the Primark effect because there are an amazing retailer but we have also got Black’s, the cinema, JD Sports and Gap.
“We are very optimistic that it's going to continue to increase when Next and H&M opens.”
Next and Fargate will move from their current bases on Fargate and Ms Phillips said staff moving into the new HSBC building on the site of the former Grosvenor House Hotel will also increase the amount of people in Sheffield.
She added: “This is not the end at all – there is so much still going on. The best thing is the city is getting great footfall and we are bucking the national trend.
“The footfall is not 100 per ent accurate but we get a really good pictutre and we work with the retailers to see if it is leading to sales.”
Ms Phillips said footfall was recorded by security cameras on each entrance to The Moor and weekly reports are produced and shared with retailers.
She said: “There's a variety of reports from retailers as to whether footfall is leading to sales. There are some retailers that are doing well such as Poundland, Iceland and Primark and there are others that struggle but a lot of the time it’s practice.
“But on the whole, if a retailer comes to us from a different part of the city, they improve.”
Diane Jarvis, manager of Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), said there was still work to be done around Fargate and Castlegate to continue to increase footfall throughout the city centre.
She said: “An increase in footfall on The Moor is good news for the city centre, and illustrates the importance of investing in providing a combined offer of retail, food and drink, and leisure venues.
“However, there is still work that needs to be done. While The Moor is experiencing an uplift in visitors and the new Heart Of The City development is set to open soon, investment in redeveloping areas such as Fargate and the Castlegate area now needs to happen to attract even more visitors to Sheffield city centre.”