It’s celebrations all round this week as Athlone Towncentre prepares to turn ten. The centre opened its doors on the first of November 2007 and was one of the largest regional shopping centre developments outside of the capital at the time. With over 185,000 square feet of retail space and major international retailers on board, the Athlone Towncentre Shopping Centre changed the face of retail in the midlands irrevocably.
The air of excitement surrounding the arrival of retailers including Marks & Spencer, Zara, River Island and H&M was palpable on that chilly November morning in 2007 as the centre opened its doors to the thousands of eager shoppers keen to experience what the ‘new shopping centre’ had to offer.
Fast forward ten quick years, with the worst recession in living memory thrown in for good measure, and Athlone Towncentre has established itself as a popular retail destination for shoppers across the midlands and further afield from areas including Galway, Sligo & Mayo.
“The fact that we offer major fashion brands including Zara, H&M, M&S, River Island all under one roof and all conveniently located just off the M6 is a major draw for the centre” according to centre manager, Shirley Delahunt.
A testament to the success of Athlone Towncentre is the fact that the centre has succeeded in attracting additional international brand names in the recent past such as TK Maxx, Starbucks and Skechers. This year to date, there have been a number of new store openings including Inglot, Vila and Selected which has seen the retail occupancy within the centre rise to almost one hundred percent.
Reflecting on the last ten years, Ms Delahunt went on to explain, “It’s absolutely true to say that the first number of years were difficult for the centre with the country in recession but we worked really hard throughout this period to provide customers with the best value and best customer experience possible and as the economy has improved, the centre has really established itself amongst shoppers in midlands. We wouldn’t have achieved this without the loyal support of our customers our retailers and our staff. We are very proud to say that the scheme has close to 750 local people in employment, that’s all money which goes back into the local economy.”
From the 01st to the 05th of November, Athlone Towncentre have an activity packed programme. This includes a VIP Customer Night on Thursday 2nd of November from 6pm, a Winter Style Showcase hosted by Doireann Garrihy on Saturday 4th of November and wraps up with a Birthday Bash on Sunday 5th of November from 2-5pm. As part of the celebrations there’s also a ‘Five Grand Giveaway’ currently running in centre with customers having an opportunity to register as one of the ten lucky finalists to participate in the grand finale on Saturday 4th of November at 2pm. On the day there will also be one additional wildcard finalist selected to participate!