The popular shopping centre situated in the heart of Stirling, Thistles has reported as successful year, stating a 7.2 percent increase in footfall in comparison to 2022. As the combined average of all Scottish retail’s footfall comes to 4.6 percent, Thistles now reflects on a highly successful year while also looking ahead to the projected increase as we head toward Christmas and New Year.

Boasting no negative changes in footfall throughout each month compared to last year, much of Thistles’ highest total footfall came in times of school holidays and calendar event spending days. January (18.1 percent), March (16.4 percent) and April (11.9 percent) ranked amongst Thistles’ highest increases in footfall with its travel, food and footwear outlets performing the best within the centre. The jewellery retailers in the mall have also seen an increase in customers, most recently F Hinds selected Thistles as the perfect shopping centre to open their first store in Scotland. Established in 1856 and now open in Thistles, shoppers can purchase a range of stunning jewellery for all budgets, including diamonds, gold, and silver.

The shopping centre has also noticed a steady increase of regular tourism returning to the centre, located within walking distance from historic places such as Stirling Castle and Stirling Bridge, Thistles welcomes a steady stream of tourists from across the world.

Ahead of Christmas, Thistles is expecting the shopping centre to have its busiest weekend of the year. To prepare for the increase in visitor numbers Thistles has extended its operating hours and will now be open until 7:30pm up until 23rd December and from 9am-5pm on Christmas Eve. Additional staff will be on hand to support with the demand.

Gary Turnbull, Centre Director at Thistles, said: “To look back at the last few years and the knock-on effect the pandemic had on retail as a whole, we’re extremely happy to see that our footfall is steadily on the rise. This weekend is projecting to be our busiest of the year, so to accommodate for this, we’re staying open for an additional two hours, closing at 7:30pm to give shoppers ample time to get all of the last-minute bits and pieces they need before Christmas. We’re excited to see the rise in footfall continue into the new year and are already planning some fantastic ideas to add to our loyal shoppers’ experiences.”

While calendar event spending dates such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day have played an integral role in driving footfall in the centre as keen customers flock to buy gifts for loved ones, Thistles has also continued to pledge efforts into offering free experiences to the centre upon its retail and food outlets. Running alongside school holidays, Thistles has introduced a range of free family events from a summer arcade, Easter and Halloween arts and crafts workshops, as well as the monthly kids’ club, Thistles’ Wolf Pack.


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May 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide