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Shops weather the recession

PUBLISHED: 14:42 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:15 23 August 2010

BUSINESS owners continue to buck the trend during the recession with new shops opening in a town centre shopping centre. Sports Direct, Save the Children charity store, Nice Price gift shop and Will Nichols gadget shop have all opened in St George s shop

BUSINESS owners continue to buck the trend during the recession with new shops opening in a town centre shopping centre.

Sports Direct, Save the Children charity store, Nice Price gift shop and Will Nichols gadget shop have all opened in St George's shopping centre, Gravesend.

The new outlets, all opening within the last few weeks, has given the town a major boost, according to centre manager Nicky Blanchard.

She said: "This is great news not just for St George's but for Gravesend as a whole.

"New shops will encourage more people to come to the town centre and use all the facilities that are on offer here, and spend their money locally."

Adding to signs of a slight recovery in Gravesend, existing stores Punkyfish, Longfield Wools, Timpsons and Exclusive Furniture have all extended leases.

The centre has recently won awards for its refurbished car parks, as well as improved recycling policies, which is thought to have helped secure the interest of the centre's new clients.

Mrs Blanchard added: "With official recognition of the quality of our car park and green awareness; the future is looking very positive with these new shops and more to come."

The news follows on the back of the expansion of two businesses at either end of the town's shopping area.

Salon True Hairdressing and Beauty on the corner of High Street and West Street doubled in size by taking on the premises of a neighbouring unit at the end of October. This followed the move by independent clothing store For Girlys to a more central location at Stone Street the previous week.

And if that's not enough to be cheerful about, Santa''s Grotto is due to open in the centre next Tuesday.

The Grotto will be positioned in the middle of St George's and Santa will be there daily from December 1 to 23, with a visit costing £3 a child.

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