Bosses at intu Merry Hill have spoken out after a shopping frenzy saw hundreds of eager customers queuing throughout the shopping venue – with one family spending £1,500.
Gavin Prior, operations director at intu, said the Brierley Hill-based centre saw a 200 per cent rise in customer numbers as non-essential shops reopened for the first time in three months.
The statement came after videos showed massive queues of people snaking around the site as dozens flocked to Primark and Sports Direct on Monday, June 15.
BlackCountryLive revealed a family had also splurged more than £1,500 during their first outing after lockdown eased.
The keen shoppers – who included Clare Duffy, Thia, Sophie and Simone Dunkley, and Kisha and Tegan Hyde – spent around £700 in Primark, £400 in diffusion, £400 in Tessuti and £60 in Boots.
Ms Duffy said it was one of the ‘best shopping experiences’ the family had had at the venue and said ‘everyone had been calm’.
Mr Prior said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming more people back to intu Merry Hill. There has been a wonderful vibe since even before we opened, with socially distanced queues.
“Our visitors have been playing their part by staying socially distanced and following all the other safety measures we have in place to make sure all intu centres are safe places to visit and work. It’s great to see all our teams’ hard work and planning come into action.
“In preparation for this week, we carried out some research with 2,000 regular shopping centre visitors which that found that many people were looking forward to returning to shops if there were the right safety measures and we have certainly seen that come true today.
“It is clear from the queues that people have been excited about returning to the shops and we are doing everything we can to make that experience both safe and joyful.
“Footfall across all intu centres is naturally lower than the same day last year but by 2pm today had grown by 218 per cent compared to last Monday and we expect the number of visitors to steadily increase towards the weekend as more of us look to venture out to the shops and more brands reopen.
“Around 40 per cent of the shops in intu centres are open and many more are planning on reopening over the next week or two as they continue to put the right safety measures in place.
“We’d like to thank all the teams at intu and all the brands in our centres who have been working incredibly hard to make sure intu centres are safe places to visit and work.”