One million Xmas shoppers visited Whitgift Centre

Whitgift centre, Pic: Paul Gillett

The  Christmas rush for the Whitgift Shopping Centre, Croydon saw consumers flooding through its doors with more than one million visitors in the last five shopping days.

Some believe the boom was helped by the closure in September of Croydon’s oldest store, Allders, after almost one hundred years in business while the Whitgift itself will close in the Spring for a massive redevelopment.

Andrew Bauer, director of the Whitgift Centre said: “The closure of Allders helped increased trade for other retailers”.

“At the moment, it appears that our retailers saw triple the trading over the Christmas and New Year.

“There was good, steady business throughout December but we saw a massive rush in the last five days, compared to last year”.

The sales are also proving to be another boom, with queues forming by 8am on Boxing Day.

Local resident Mark Holloway, 38, said, “I went to the sales on Boxing Day, some of the shops opened at 8am, so I arrived abut half seven.

“I found the sales really good in the Whitgift. I really hope this goes on and creates a few more jobs for the locals.”

Croydon shopper, David Lowes, 19, said: “I’m not surprised, most people in Croydon go to Whitgift because its down the road and it has all the shops you need.”

The Centre is to be rebuilt by Westfield, which runs the shopping centres at White City and Stratford, in a bid to make Croydon a world-class shopping destination. Re-development of the centre is scheduled for this Spring under the Westfield-Whitgift brand.

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