Booming Woolshops holds on to traders and shoppers

Optimistic: Woolshops manager Jason Gregg
Optimistic: Woolshops manager Jason Gregg
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THE Woolshops Shopping Centre is bucking the retail doom and gloom and is expected to be full shortly.

Centre manager Jason Gregg has been in his job for over 10 years and has never seen such high occupancy levels.

Now 42 retailers are in business and a deal is expected to be concluded shortly on the last remaining unit.

“Given the current circumstances across the country it is very good news,” said Mr Gregg.

“Last year we had a very successful year with some retailers doing exceptionally well.

“You will always get others not doing quite as well but the majority of retailers are on target or above with some very happy with trade.”

Mr Gregg is hopeful that Mothercare will remain at Woolshops as the company announced it was closing a quarter of its UK stores over the next two years.

It has plans to reduce its High Street presence and focus more on out-of-town stores and its online and wholesale businesses.

By March 2013 it expects to reduce its stores from 373 to 266 and has 120 leases expiring in the next two years.

“I have not seen the list but we are confident Mothercare will stay in town as it seems to be offloading stores that have lease renewals due,” said Mr Gregg.

“Halifax is not one of those stores as the lease has several years to run.”

Mothercare’s pre-tax profits for the year to March were £8.8 million – down from £32.5 million a year ago.

It blamed adverse weather in key trading weeks before Christmas and a weakening in consumer confidence.