Visitor numbers on Monday 12 April 2021 were up 6% on the equivalent day in 2019 as shoppers returned to The Darwin Centre. Customers visited Shrewsbury on Monday as non-essential shops and other businesses reopened, and pubs, cafes and restaurants were able to serve people outside. The Darwin Centre was particularly busy with many stores reporting large numbers of customers and excellent sales on the day.
Warm weather, free parking in Shropshire Council car parks, and social distancing measures in place around the town were also likely to have encouraged people to visit the town as lockdown measures were eased. Parking is free in most Shropshire Council car parks from 8am to 6pm until Sunday 25 April and social distancing measures are in place across the county to help people safely visit Shropshire’s market towns.
The Shop Local movement is also taking hold in Shrewsbury. We have an incredible mixture of independent brands at The Darwin Centre including Green Options, Mollie’s, Meg Hawkins and Shrewsbury Duck Store. Our new shopping gallery for independent traders called The Collective is now open again and includes Sydney’s Café, Jennico, Val B’s Wax Jewellery, Heavenly Brides, Beauty & Nails Inbox, Tubeway Records, DVD Megastore, and iRehab. Now is the time for the public to shop local and support their local town and its businesses.
Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury shopping centres manager, said, “We were really pleased to welcome back many of our tenants on Monday and to see them open their doors for the first time in a long time. It was great to see so many people visit the Darwin Centre – as well as the town – and to receive positive comments from many of our stores. We also saw two stores – F.Hinds and Portofolio – open for the first time in the Centre. The number of visitors being up on the same day two years ago is really positive and very welcome. Whilst it’s great to see people back visiting the shopping centres, the health and safety of our tenants and customers will always be our top priority. We are continuing with our enhanced cleaning routines, focusing on major touchpoints in communal areas. Stores are also enhancing their own cleaning routines, following Government guidelines. The queue guides outside of stores will be in use to manage footfall within the individual units, and we also have recorded messages playing on the centre’s PA systems reminding visitors of safe shopping guidance.”