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The Trafford Centre expands

Despite a predicted slump in consumer spending, the Trafford Centre is going from strength to strength. Is free parking the key to a happy shopping centre?

Published on January 25th 2007.

The Trafford Centre expands

Ah, the Trafford Centre. Magnificent domed palace of Eccles, fortress of the M60, defender of free customer parking.

The Trafford Centre, also (affectionately) known as The Trauma Centre, is going from strength to strength despite a predicted slump in consumer spending this year.

Perhaps this has something to do with the 10,000 free parking spaces. Perhaps it’s to do with the arrival of John Lewis to the Trafford Centre. Maybe it’s to do with Marks and Spencers doubling in size. Whatever it is, The Trafford Centre saw a rise in shopper numbers to a record 4m in December 2006.

The Trafford Centre are feeling plucky. So plucky in fact, that they are planning a £70 million extension for next year, and a £26 million upmarket food hall for 2007, housing seven new eateries.

Director of operations Gordon McKinnon believes that the Trafford Centre’s free parking will protect it against the effects of any slumps in the economy.

"When money is tighter, people are not going to want to spend £10 a day parking in a city centre", he says.

Take note, Manchester City Council…

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