McArthurGlen described as ‘tragic’ as units sit empty in mall

Shoppers have raised concerns about the number of empty stores at one of Wales’ largest out-of-town retail complexes. One described the situation at Bridgend’s McArthurGlen as “tragic”.

The shopping complex has lost big names like Gap, FatFace and Build A Bear and there are around nine empty units in the complex.

A shopper told WalesOnline: “I went this week to pick up pieces for a trip we’re going to take. I was shocked at how many units were empty and many of the shops I had been for were gone.

“Those that were there didn’t really have much range either, so we left disappointed. All the empty units looked tragic.”

Another said: “The prices are high and there are so many empty shops. I went for a handbag and came home with a pastie.”

And one said: “At first you don’t realize how many shops are empty because the windows have been cleverly covered up and it looks like they’re open. I don’t go there often , but it seemed very quiet.”

There are a number of empty units in the center:

Not everything is so bad, as one TripAdvisor shopper said: “A great place to shop with great stores and amazing discounts, always visit this place and enjoy going there, also have a park for children. halfway kids shopping there.”

Another said: ‘We love this place to shop as we can take our dog with us and to most shops. The place is always clean and well presented – a great day out.’

Figures from Springboard analysts this week showed attendance is less than 10% below 2019 pre-Covid levels for the first time since the pandemic began.

The gap has narrowed due to both steady gains in visitor numbers over the past few weeks and weak comparisons in 2019.

UK footfall rose slightly across all retail destinations last week, with high streets outperforming both shopping centers and retail parks.

A spokesperson for McArthurGlen, which has seven locations across the UK, said: There have been store closures at the center as a direct result of the pandemic, but we have seen significant interest in a number of vacant units and will announce five exciting new openings in the coming months.

“Additionally, we’ve seen a number of our designer brand partners undertake significant refurbishments to their units, including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger – both of which have undergone refurbishments to enhance the shopping experience.”

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