Shoppers flock to Birmingham for style weekend

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Birmingham’s retailers have reported a welcomed increase in sales over the weekend after thousands of additional shoppers visited the city for Style Birmingham Live.

Organised by Retail Birmingham on behalf of retailers within the Business Improvement District, the three day event took place between 24-26 September and included a host of fashion and beauty events at locations across the city, including Bullring, Pavilions, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols and The Mailbox.

Over 7,000 visitors attended the showpiece catwalk show at Birmingham Town Hall, hosted by TV presenter George Lamb. Retailers also received a welcome sales boost from associated events, with footfall on two of the main shopping routes, High Street and Corporation Street, just under 20% higher than usual.

Style Birmingham Live profiled the diverse range of retail on offer from independent stores to high street names and designer brands.

Philip Gibson from Jigsaw said:
“We found that many of the pieces profiled through the catwalk show were selling in-store very quickly, and many sold out entirely online over the weekend. It was a great weekend for Jigsaw.”

Retailers at Pavilions reported a rise in both footfall and sales. LK Bennett doubled its sales target on the Saturday and Sunday, and sold out of the dress that model Ruth Crilly wore for the centre’s own fashion show. Men’s formalwear retailer, Moss, saw a sales increase of 400% on the first day of Style Birmingham Live.

The sales boost was not just confined to fashion retailers. Café Blend, one of the newest independents to open up within the Retail BID area, also benefited from the increased visitor numbers. Owner, Sophie Highfield said:
“Style Birmingham Live has been brilliant for my business. We hit a record day on Saturday for takings, which is fantastic.”

Alan Chatham, Chair of Retail Birmingham said:
“Building on the success of previous fashion events in the city, Retail Birmingham’s main objective was to deliver a quality experience for visitors that put Birmingham firmly on the fashion map and helped to generate valuable profile and sales for our broad range of retailers.

“We’re delighted by the positive feedback from our retailers about the impact of the event on sales figures over the weekend, from independent stores to big name brands. In the short term this has given a real tangible boost to stores in the city centre, and we are confident that in the longer term events such as these will encourage new groups of shoppers to visit Birmingham as their destination of choice.”


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