Shops in Magherafelt enjoy busy Christmas sales

Meadowlane Shopping Centre Magherafelt.INMM0116-308
Meadowlane Shopping Centre Magherafelt.INMM0116-308

The tills were ringing loudly in many Magherafelt shops over the Christmas period.

Although figures for the traditional rush over Christmas and New Year are not yet in, business owners report a surge in the days leading up to the holiday.

The town centre is now an attractive mecca for shoppers, following the completion of the £3.5m reneger at ion scheme.

Meadowlane shopping centre on Moneymore Road saw ‘footfall growth’ over Christmas.

Manager Gareth Thomas told the Mail that the increase in shoppers was helped by the opening of two new stores - Koo Koo Children and Pro Mobile and Tablets. He said the new business outlets greatly enhanced the shopping experience, giving customers a variety of shops to choose from.

“Tenant feedback has also been positive with tenants seeing the week before Christmas being very strong for sales,” he said.

Mr Thomas believes shopping was helped by Magherafelt looking very impressive over the Christmas period.

“Between the town centre and the shopping centre retail is very strong in Magherafelt and we look forward to a positive New Year,” he added.

The reduced parking charges in the main car parks is also thought to have contributed to increasing shopping numbers. The 10p for three hours offer is due to come to an end this weekend.

Launching the initiative in November, Council Chair Cllr Trevor Wilson said it would “provide a huge boost to town centre trade at one of the busiest times of the year”. He also pointed out that it represented an investment of more than £23,000 in the town centre.

Meantime, the Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Window Competition, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, attracted a record number of entries this year. House of Flowers was the overall winner with Carmel McGuigan Optician and Roglyn coming runners up. The charity window winner was Charis Care Ltd.