Manor West – Looking Ahead to 2012Manor West – Looking Ahead to 2012

Manor West – Looking Ahead to 2012Manor West – Looking Ahead to 2012

17 January 2012

Developed and owned by Tralee’s leading business family, the Boyles, and managed by Centre Manager Derek Rusk, the Centre celebrated its 10th birthday in November 2011 and is still consistently  placed in the top three shopping centres nationwide, attracting the best national and international brands, employing over 800 people and attracting over 90,000 shoppers weekly. 

Centre Manager Derek Rusk would be the first to say that the retail sector has never been easy but the last few years have been particularly challenging to both the retailers and the centre management team and owners.   “We are in the lucky position that we have direct access to the owners who proactively work with the management team to ensure the continued success of the Centre.  At Manor West, for example, we have the lowest service charge rate in the country at €3.60 per sqft, compared to the industry average of €9 to €11 per sqft and we intend to maintain this in what will be another challenging year for retail.”  

Despite the media doom and gloom, people are coming out in their tens of thousands to Manor West.  Christmas 2011 was a particularly busy time, with over eight to ten thousand cars in the car park recorded most days.  To cope with this there were 10 traffic management staff on duty at peak times and no traffic issues were reported throughout the holiday season.

“Our ethos is to give the best shopping experience possible and that starts at the entrance to Manor West.  By providing hassle free parking, even during the busiest of times, shoppers enter the Centre relaxed and stress free – and without the stress that long, static parking queues bring on!” 

“Feedback from our retailers has been good, but like everyone out there, there is much anxiety about the future and with more and more austerity measures being introduced, shoppers have less to spend.”  Derek realises the challenges and is facing them head on. “2012 for us and I believe for everyone in business must be about managing overheads and exceeding customer expectations so they will return time and again.  Despite the difficult trading conditions, the key to survival for Retail is to maintain or enhance a flexible positive approach by providing shoppers with a positive retail experience while also giving them true value for money.” 

“We all need to lighten the load of the shoppers by giving customers even more when they come to the Centre.  For example our Free Santa throughout December went down really well.  Mums and Dads could shop in peace and the kids got to meet Santa and have their photo taken with him, without any additional cost to their parents.  It provided a great feel-good atmosphere around the centre as did the various choirs that entertained the shoppers.  We also invested more this year in Christmas lights, just to enhance the whole Christmas experience a little more.” 

Another big success for the Centre has been the use of social media; in particular Facebook and a new look website.  “Over the past few months Facebook has been a really effective way to communicate to our shoppers.  As well as outlining store opening times, details of the sales and special offers that are currently on, we also post local news and useful information and as a result, have seen our fan numbers grow on Facebook to nearly 6,000.”

In summary, Manor West is facing 2012 with a lot to look forward to.  “It’s always challenging but we have a really great proposition here at Manor West and together with the management team, the store managers and their dedicated staff we look forward to welcoming shoppers from far and wide over the next 12 months and we promise to deliver even greater value, a greater variety of shopping and a relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience in 2012.”