Freeport Fleetwood has triumphed at the Red Rose Awards, scooping the Retail Business of the Year award. The outlet shopping centre was up against six other companies at the prestigious event held on Thursday 12 March at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
The Red Rose Awards are held in Blackpool every year and play out in front of a sell-out audience of 1,100. Businesses from the length and breadth of Lancashire competed for titles across a range of categories, the shortlist and winners were selected by a panel of expert judges.
The award recognises Freeport Fleetwood’s dedicated effort to buck current retail trends and increase sales by 2.2% in 2014, resulting in the highest sales figures for the centre since 2011 and a 95.5% occupancy rate.
The Red Rose win also honours Freeport Fleetwood’s implementation of a new customer engagement programme to turn around perceptions of the centre. This has included targeted fashion, music and lifestyle led PR and social media campaigns, which have lead to an increase in younger customers and a larger tourist footfall.
Freeport Fleetwood has proved itself to be a leader in the Lancashire retail environment during the past 12 months; creating strong relationships with target audiences, brands it wants to buy and the tenant retailers, whilst contributing widely to the local economy. In addition the centre has supported various schools and charities in the local community and will widen this support during 2015.
The outlet has created a reason for shoppers from the across the North West to visit Fleetwood and is contributing to the reinvigoration of the area by bringing tourist footfall across from Blackpool.
John Magee, centre manager at Freeport Fleetwood, said: “We are delighted to have won the Red Rose Retail Business of the Year award. The judges clearly saw our dedication to continually develop the centre and provide the best retail experience for our loyal customers and tenants. We are proud to have helped put Fleetwood back on the map.
“The fact that it is investing in the local environment and community is our commitment to our future in the area for years to come. National retail brands are now showing a desire to sign up for space at the centre.”
Event founder Richard Slater, also the publisher of Lancashire Business View magazine, said: “The Red Rose Awards are very hotly contested, so Freeport Fleetwood should be very proud that they have seen off all the competition. The management oozes passion and the company puts itself in the centre of their community.”
As award winners, Freeport Fleetwood collected a trophy specially crafted by apprentices at Darwen based WEC Engineering.
BBC Radio Lancashire host Graham Liver compered the evening, whilst Burnley businessman and TV star Dave Fishwick provided the voiceover. Entertainment included Lancashire-based international opera singer Sean Ruane backed by the BAE Military Choir.
Headline sponsors for the event were Forbes Solicitors and Barclays. A full picture gallery can be found online at www.redroseawards.co.uk
The Red Rose Awards is Lancashire’s premier business event and is designed to celebrate Lancashire business, provide the best possible platforms to promote success and to encourage inter-trading in the county. This year, Red Rose won the Best B2B Awards Event of 2014 at the PPA Connect Awards in London.
The other finalists for the Red Rose Retail Business of the Yea were: Cakes by Ruth, Khans Quality Foods, Leonard Dews Jewellers, Ruby & Daisy and The Ink Squid.
Freeport Fleetwood offers a wide choice of fashion, homewares, fragrances, accessories and gift ideas from designer and high street stores including Denby, M&S Outlet, Skopes and GAP Outlet. There are a wealth of locations in which to refuel too – whether it’s a light bite at Costa Coffee or a laid-back lunch in the Bay Tea Rooms. Late night shopping is also available every Thursday until 8pm.