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Independent Avenue plan for smaller retailers in St George’s Shopping Centre

Posted on - 14th November, 2014 - 9:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre
The Lune Street end of the St George's Shopping Centre could see more independent retailers rather than chain stores Pic: William Matthews

The Lune Street end of the St George’s Shopping Centre could see more independent retailers rather than chain stores Pic: William Matthews

A Preston shopping centre is to turn over a number of its retail units to independent retailers in a bid to create what it calls an “independent avenue”.

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St George’s Shopping Centre is planning to turn the Lune Street entrance of the centre into a mix of smaller retailers and food and drink outlets.

Andrew Stringer, manager of St George’s, said they were already in discussion with a number of stores and food and drink providers.

He said: “Preston is no different to any other city in that it needs to have a vibrant independent sector to complement its branded high street offering.

“St George’s has always had a strong independent offering, from fashion outlets to fruit and veg shops and jewellers. There is a perception that being based in the city is highly expensive with long-term commitments. But there are many flexible options available.

“Our modern indoor facilities appeal to food and drink businesses whether it’s an eatery or a fresh food retailer. We’ve been approached by several such businesses but the discussions are at an early stage.”

Deals on the table include trial periods, flexible deals and free marketing support.

Alan Sharp, owner of ISIS Jewellers on Lune Street said: “The shopping centre has over 10 million visitors a year so there is an obvious benefit to having a central location.

“Business is still challenging but through the multi-million pound Fishergate regeneration project and some major brands taking over void high street units, you can see confidence is building in the city. It would be great to see more independent businesses come to Preston because, by their very nature, they can offer a unique retail experience.”

What do you think of the idea? Would it make you visit this end of the shopping centre more? Do you own a local business? Let us know in the comments below

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