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Just a quick blog posting – the first one of the year!  Things are looking up for 2011 and we have some exciting events to bring you this year.  I will give some more details on that in the next couple of days.

The new centre marketing site is almost finished and will be launched next week.

Well thats our news over!  Here are a couple of interesting articles to read:

http://www.synovate.com/news/article/2011/01/expected-slow-burn-turned-into-a-deep-freeze-as-retail-footfall-suffers-in-december-says-synovate.html

http://gu.com/p/2mb5c

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Well for another year anyway!  Just posting a little thankyou to all Santas hardworking helpers, they have ensured another sucessful year for Centre Events and all our shopping centres we work with.

The reindeer are back at the farm, Santa’s suit and elves outfits are at the dry cleaners ready to be stored away for another year.  We have seen plenty of children and adults brave the worst weather for 30 years to come and see Santa and tell him how good they have all been! We have seen kids asking for all kinds of presents from a four year old who wanted an iPhone and an iMac through to a child who said they didnt want anything as they already had everything!!!

We hope to be providing bigger and better christmas grottos for 2011 and already have several ideas on the drawing board.

santa, elves and real reindeer

Santa and helpers available to hire for christmas events and grottos

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The sales start today!  Well unless you were shopping online in which case many retailers started yesterday!  With the disruption caused by snow across the country more retailers than we have previously seen are opening their doors today.  Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are opening more stores than they have done in previous years with Tesco opening over 50% more stores than a year ago. Billed by retailers as the “sale of the century” we should see a very busy few hours of trading today(Sunday trading hours are in force today).  Shops should see a busy few days leading up to the 4th Jan when the new VAT threshold comes into play.  There has been much hyperbole in previous January sales but this year will see retailers trying to shift merchandise and from what has been advertised discounts seem big and significant.

 It seems the forthcoming days are going to prove very important to rack up sales.  The Centre for Retail Research and Yahoo owned shopping site Kelkoo has predicted a 0.5% drop on last year for consumer spending.

 Lets hope for busy times ahead and remember the British public love to grab a bargain – and there are plenty of them to grab!

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Centre events have been keeping an eye on the news the last few days…. Well more precisely the weather!  We have been fortunate that it has affected any of our events although we have been all leaving a little earlier.  Take a look at this report from the BBC, the UK has experienced some difficult trading this Xmas. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12041080

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And snow it goes on….Freezing conditions across the country caused havoc to shoppers, shopping centres and town centres this Saturday.

The last Saturday before Christmas is known as “super Saturday”.  This is traditionally when retailers can bank on the tills ringing all day and record trading figures.  Its appears this year that it may not be quite so super for many retailers.

Snow, ice and freezing weather conditions have forced many shoppers to simply remain at home.  Retail researchers synovate have reported footfall figures are down 24.3% in comparison to the same day in 2009.

Worst affected regions are the west midlands -32.1%; South East -32%; London -28.6%.

Some regions faired  better: East Midlands, down 3.1%; North East England, down 3.2%; Scotland, down 4.2%.

Interestingly I did also hear on ITN news that Regent St, Oxford St and Bond St took £130million on the day, quite a feat considering the economic climate and harsh weather conditions.

Fortunes for shopping centres were mixed with Brent Cross in North London being forced to close its doors early due to heavy snow in the capital.

The Trafford centre battled hard by all accounts dispensing 20 tons of grit and salt to keep its doors open and report footfall of 140,000.

Shopping in general seems to more of a difficult activity this year!  Whether its trudging through arctic conditions to the shops or twiddling your thumbs wondering whether the backlog of parcels from online retailers will be delivered in time.

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After stomping through 20cms of snow this morning in a successful mission to reach the office I find myself reading emails and writing blogs….

I was saddened to see our local town centre initiative has had to cancel this evening’s late night shopping celebrations.  Santa, reindeer and carol singers have all been halted due to the sheer amount of snow that fell over night and the flurry which is expected later on.  Such a shame after all the planning and organisation that goes into these events which are laid on free for visitors, I am sure that many children although enjoying a day off school will miss their chance to see Santa and the fireworks that were planned for this evening.  Apparently the firework were scheduled to be launched from Worthing pier which is a first for the UK (so I am reliably informed)

I found it slightly ironic that this evening’s event was cancelled due to heavy snow and yet we have had a roar-away success this year with our snow machine rental business.  Town centres and shopping centres have been taking full advantage of our snow machine hire service and we have had some fun bring snow to many new towns!  The machines deliver the perfect amount of snow and unlike Mother Nature who has dumped way to much here today!

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As we have now got new blog software on our site we are going to update this one with some of the best blogs from our old one….  Just one or two though – not the whole lot!

Eddie the Eagle Edwards

Worthing Birdman competition was held on Worthing Pier on 14th August 2010 and this year Eddie “the eagle” is jumping for Sparks.  Eddie is a keen supporter for Sparks the childrens research charity and offered his unique expertise to raise the maximum for this worthy cause.

Centre-events were approached by Sparks to help make Eddie a super-hero style outfit to wear on the day….  We are always up for a challenge, so out came the sewing machine, a quick flick of the digital heatpress, a little bit of design and hey presto “Super Eddie” was born.

Eddie was the first competitor ever to represent Great Britain for Olympic Ski Jumping.  In 1988 he competed in the Carlgary Winter Olympic and although he finished last in the competition he went on to win the endearment of fans around the globe, releasing a single and appearing on adverts and talkshows!  Declan Lowney (Film Director) has been planning to make a film about Eddies life!  Actor Rupert Grint (of Harry Potter fame – incase you didnt know!) is to play Eddie, and filming should start when Rupert has finished filming the last Harry Potter film!

Eddie managed to jump 7.52 metres before ending up in the English Channel! Not bad considering he was wearing skis, boots, googles, hat etc.  We were worried the boots might make him sink to the bottom!

He ensured an excellent turnout for the annnual event held in Worthing and everyone involved was grateful for his support.

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We have finally updated our news page with an all singing all dancing blog!  Expect to see lots of news, reviews and general information about shopping and events coming up in the future!

Shopping centre event blog

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