River Island, Iceland and Poundland bring the shoppers back to Tower Ramparts in Ipswich

Tower Ramparts shopping centre manager Mike Sorhaindo.

Tower Ramparts shopping centre manager Mike Sorhaindo. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich’s Tower Ramparts shopping centre saw a massive surge in the number of shoppers in the run-up to Christmas following the opening of three new stores during 2014.

The number of shoppers increased by more than 13% in December – going up to 650,000 from 570,000 the previous December.

The increase comes after River Island, Iceland and Poundland stores opened in the centre – and was revealed just as work is due to start on converting Tower Ramparts into Sailmakers in a £5 million revamp.

The December figure took the centre’s annual footfall total to 5,015,903 – about the population of Norway!

Centre manager Mike Sorhaindo said: “We’re delighted at the news as it is a vindication of the work that has been done to attract tenants and jobs to the Centre.

“We have had a very successful year, so much so that we had actually passed last year’s footfall figure of four and a quarter million even before December.

“We worked very hard in last two years to bring major new stores to Tower Ramparts in the form of River Island, Iceland and Poundland and we have a rich mix of big high street names such as Ryman, River Island and Topshop and local independents like The Bear Garden, Candy Gaga, Baldwins and The Java Store.

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“When that is combined with the ambitious plans to develop and rebrand the Centre this year it has helped us buck the national trend away from high street shopping and have seen major rises in footfall.”

The rise in shopper numbers at Tower Ramparts have been dramatic and date from May last year when footfall rose 18 per cent on the previous year’s figures and that pattern has continued with nine consecutive months of increases on the 2013 numbers.

The refit is due to start soon and be completed in the summer .

Mr Sorhaindo added: “The investment of £5 million into Ipswich’s town centre economy, has received a warm welcome from the local business community and the public and our tenants are also excited about them.

“There was a general understanding that the centre needed to be refurbished to make it more attractive both to shoppers and to potential big names looking to open a branch in Ipswich.”

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