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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
City has 'no fear' of rival mall
Drake Circus
The new mall attracted 120,000 visitors on its first day
A Devon city centre boss says he has nothing to fear from the new Drake Circus shopping centre in Plymouth.

The 200m mall, which opened in Plymouth on Thursday, is aimed at turning round the city's fortunes by poaching shoppers who go to Exeter.

But John Harvey, Exeter City Centre manager, said he had seen nothing on a visit to make him fear for Exeter, Plymouth's main shopping rival.

Exeter is developing its own new mall, Princesshay, which will open next year.

Mr Harvey said: "They have some new names. Many of those will be coming to Exeter in 12 months time, but many of those we have already.

"In fact doing a quick count, I think most of the names, somewhat to our relief, are already represented in Exeter, so people can already enjoy that choice if they come and shop with us."

Targets hit

He said that Exeter's "unique environment" would continue to attract shoppers.

"It's important not to talk just about Drake Circus, but Plymouth as a whole," he said.

"While Drake Circus is very busy, the rest of the city centre is perhaps not quite as busy.

"We need to make sure the success story for Princesshay when it opens is a success story for Exeter as a whole."

At least 120,000 people checked out the new Drake Circus when it opened on Thursday, with some retailers hitting their daily trading targets by lunchtime.

The centre management expect about 300,000 people will visit the new mall every week.

The success of the mall, which includes big-name stores such as H&M and Zara, is seen as crucial to Plymouth's future.


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