Centre facelift to help boost trade

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Artist's impression of the Clayton Square revamp. Image © InfraRed Capital Partners/Clayton Square Shopping Centre

Artist’s impression of the Clayton Square revamp. Image © InfraRed Capital Partners/Clayton Square Shopping Centre

After £2.2m of renovations and four-and-a-half months of building work, Clayton Square Shopping Centre is nearly ready for full trade once again.

Since the opening of Liverpool One in 2008, the precinct at the top of Church Street has struggled to fight off its tough competition, though officials hope the overhaul will make it competitive again.

The building work, which started in June, has included the complete removal of the first floor so that shoppers can see through the glass ceiling with a view of the Radio City tower.

The centre will also have fewer but larger stores instead of the mall of small shops which existed before.

Retailers Boots and Clas Ohlson have been extended in size to fit the centre’s new plans.

Ian Strettle, Centre Manager of Clayton Square, told JMU Journalism: “It was a loss-making centre for the owners because they had too much space which was the wrong space. So, on a business footing it’s the right thing to do.”

David Henderson-Williams at Hark Group, asset manager of Clayton Square and St John’s, told the Echo: “The presence of major retailers such as Clas Ohlson and Boots UK will create a real draw for shoppers to Clayton Square.”

However, since the building work started, Clayton Square has lost a large number of shoppers from around 140,000 people per week down to 86,000.

Mr Strettle said: “People were no longer coming because there were no retailers here, not because of the building work. Will they come back? I think they will but we have to let the empty units.”

Currently, Morrison’s supermarket is the only new retailer to confirm its place with a store near the Church Street entrance.

Mr Strettle believes Clayton Square has also struggled in the current climate to find its own identity. He said: “Clayton Square used to be 95% ladies fashion, with the likes of Monsoon, Etam and Karen Millen – all the big names.

“Two things happened in 2008: Liverpool One opened and the financial decline started. That didn’t help the decline of Clayton Square.”

The new and improved Clayton Square will be ready for shoppers and new retailers on November 14th.

About Katie Dodson, JMU Journalism