Stores close at Victoria Square

Published Friday, 25 January 2013
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Three stores are closing at the Victoria Square shopping centre in Belfast city centre.

Stores close at Victoria Square
Victoria Square, in April 2008, on the Good Friday Agreement's 10th anniversary. (© UTV)

GEOX shoe store and two eateries, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and Yogen Fruz will shut at the end of the month.

In March 2008 GEOX opened, followed by the Gourmet Burger Kitchen in May of the same year. Yogen Fruz joined the centre in December 2010.

Hugh Black, centre manager, Victoria Square said that while the closures were regrettable, other retailers had opened in the centre in the last three months and more are coming.

"Whilst we regret the closure of any store or restaurant and the associated loss of jobs, these closures are not reflective of how Victoria Square is trading as a whole. Victoria Square continues to attract interest and investment from national and international brands due to the on-going success of our diverse retail and leisure offering," he said.

"Up until Gourmet Burger Kitchen took the regrettable decision to close its restaurant in Victoria Square this week, our restaurant units were fully let - their situation is not reflective of the experience of our other restaurant tenants."

In the last three months, a number of new retailers and restaurants opened their doors at the upmarket shopping centre, including clothing retailers Phase Eight and Hugo Boss, Pan Asian restaurant brand, Cosmo and independent café, Treat Boutique.

"National Italian restaurant brand, Prezzo will open its first Northern Ireland restaurant in Victoria Square in March; clothing retailer, Fat Face is due to open a new standalone store in Victoria Square this spring; whilst Cruise is preparing to commence an expansion of its ground floor store in the first half of 2013."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Phil in Belfast wrote (734 days ago):
No doubt the protests have contributed to the loss of revenue for local business but for anyone to blame it all on the protests is living in cuckoo land. I reckon people wanted these protests to take the focus off government cuts and other news related to economic problems around the world. Blame it all on the flags while the real culprits bankers and their politician buddies are laughing their heads off.
Ryan in Belfast wrote (736 days ago):
Is anyone surprised? Have you seen the prices in victoria square? Its Hollywood prices in half the place. Now, i personally know people who run businesses, etc who would be considered "wealthy" and even they say they keep well clear of victoria square.
Sad, but... in North Antrim wrote (736 days ago):
So three stores close in Victoria Square and it's big news. But all the towns and cities in NI are losing traders at an alarming and ever quickening rate and there is little specific attention drawn to this. Coleraine, for example, has the worst percentage of closed shops in the entire UK!(About 50% of Coleraine town centre shops are closed.) Many towns are very near to the tipping point which will see the total collapse of town centre shopping and threatens to leave waste the hearts of our towns. Money is being thrown at Belfast city centre to try to save it from the protesters but unfortunately it wont work because the protesters are only a small part of the problem. The main problems are rates, rents, taxation, parking charges and fines, unemployment and the total lack of consumer confidence. Add in Alex Attwood's Bag Tax for good measure. I believe our Assembly has decided that local traders are beyond saving and they are now going to focus their attention on large regional shopping centres and stores like John Lewis and the local traders are to be left to wither and die. The evidence for this is that we are five years into this depression and the Assembly has done practically nothing to help local traders even though they have fallen in their thousands - one thousand in 2011 and possibly two thousand last year. But hey, so long as Belfast is seen to look good that's all that matters.
John McC in Belfast wrote (737 days ago):
Recently I bought a camera online which was £150 cheaper than in Jessops. Most retailing is going to go the way of the dodo unless they make their prices more competitive. The £1 shops seem to be busy and people will always buy good quality clothing. Marks and Spencer have a superb food department that makes good profits. I tend to buy meat in a shop that I know sells high quality produce, even though I know that it is a little more expensive.
Tommy Atkins in London, England wrote (737 days ago):
Norman is it not a fact of life that the biggest percentage of a salary goes to heating, food etc. Sorry Norman but I feel that the last thing the government should be responsible for is provding its citizens help to go shopping. Especially in "Up Scale Stores"
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