TJ Hughes opening boosts Preston footfall

The return of department store TJ Hughes to the Fishergate Shopping Centre in Preston is helping to attract more shoppers into the heart of the city, new figures have revealed.

TJ Hughes reopened in its original premises in Preston on October 13 after an absence of five years. The move was widely seen as a vote of confidence in the city centre as a shopping destination.

The Preston outlet is the 19th TJ Hughes store to be reopened by Lewis’s Home Retail. The company currently employs around 2,000 workers, including the 60 members of staff employed at its Preston outlet.

Fishergate Shopping Centre manager Keith Mitchell said: “There’s no doubt the re-opening of TJ Hughes has created a real buzz.

“TJ Hughes was incredibly popular with city centre shoppers in the past and that’s proved to be the case once again, with people returning to the re-opened outlet with real enthusiasm.

TJ Hughes managing director Anil Juneja said: “We are very happy with our first month trading in Preston. The Fishergate Shopping Centre is a fantastic retail location, which is why we were so keen to reopen here.

“Preston is a city that’s definitely on the up. We knew Preston had to be a part of our ambitious national expansion plans and it hasn’t disappointed.

Keith added: “It’s not just TJ Hughes that is attracting visitors. There is a real feeling of confidence about Preston city centre as a place to shop and to visit at the moment, which is reflected in the rising numbers of people we are seeing coming into the centre to spend their money.”

The Fishergate Shopping Centre was acquired by leading independent private equity real estate fund manager Benson Elliot in August 2013. Benson Elliot, which was founded in 2005, has invested heavily in retail centres in towns and cities across the UK.

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