In pictures: New independent stores at Chesterfield’s Vicar Lane shopping centre boost occupancy rates ahead of Christmas

A number of new stores have arrived at Vicar Lane shopping centre – a boost for Chesterfield town centre during the festive period.

As it heads into the all-important festive period, Vicar Lane will have over 90% occupancy rate in time for Christmas, with five new openings at the scheme this year.

The centre team’s new leasing strategy has involved targeting local independent businesses to re-enliven the previously struggling Steeplegate as an independent quarter. This has led to three new independents acquiring space at the scheme this year.

Two tenants have moved from Market Hall in Chesterfield to the centre to expand into bigger units. For sustainable toy shop, The Little Ark, this has resulted in a 200-480% increase in sales week-on-week. For spirits and beer specialist, Street Spirit, their opening day saw 300 visitors come to the store. It has been positive ever since with a large increase in visitors to the shop compared to their shop in Market Hall.

Coffee #1 officially opened on Thursday, November 30 in the prominent unit by Vicar Lane’s event space on St James Square. They serve a range of hot drinks, coffees and pastries, which has proven very popular with the local community.

Two clothing stores also opened at the scheme. Vintage clothing store, Y Not Vintage opened in June and designer clothing store Brand Runner opened on December 2.

These recent openings will see over 90% of units filled by the end of 2023. This includes two units which have been utilised for Vicar Lane’s Christmas campaign. One unit has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland Christmas Grotto, and another has become Santa’s Elf Workshop – where an elf training academy and festive crafts take place.

Shaun Brown, Vicar Lane centre manager, said: “I am delighted in the interest in Vicar Lane, both from visitors and potential occupiers. We have really focused our efforts on welcoming independents to the scheme this year, as well as supporting our current tenants.

“The management team aim to provide a great experience for everyone here so it’s fantastic to see the hard work and changes have paid off.”

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