Howgate reports rise in shoppers despite Scottish falls

Picture John Devlin 07/04/10.  Falkirk. The Mall Howgate .G.V. (GH)
Picture John Devlin 07/04/10. Falkirk. The Mall Howgate .G.V. (GH)
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A Falkirk shopping centre is bucking the trend when it comes to attracting visitors.

Amid the gloomy economic picture of the past week came the news of a huge decrease in footfall across Scottish town centres.

Figures for April released by the Scottish Retail Consortium were almost a fifth down on the same period in 2011, with 19 per cent fewer shoppers recorded.

The gloomy results followed news that footfall in the first quarter of the year was down 12 per cent and are the worst in the UK, followed by East and Greater London.

Much of the blame has been laid on the terrible weather experienced during the month, but it didn’t seem to stop people in Falkirk enjoying a bit of retail therapy.

According to Margaret Foy, marketing manager at the Howgate Shopping Centre in the town, figures were actually ahead of last year.

She said: “We seem to be bucking the trend here.

‘‘We have had very positive figures and, looking at footfall in April, we were up 14 per cent on 2011 figures.

“We have new units in the Howgate, including Wilkinsons, and with the Easter holidays and being under cover we seem to have fared better than most town centres.”