Centre manager Leona Barr on this year's hottest trends, shopping for the whole family, and this year's exciting festive events happening at The Junction
It made headlines as the first dementia-friendly shopping centre earlier this year, and Antrim-based destination shopping centre The Junction continues to make headlines for all the right reasons - having gone viral across social media for its exciting announcement that Nando's is set to join their ever-expanding list of mouth-watering eateries.
The popular PERi-PERi chicken restaurant will join the ever-growing portfolio of brands at The Junction, who recently welcomed Beauty Outlet and Intersport.
Nando’s marks the 10th restaurant on-site at The Junction, with more exciting announcements expected for 2019 in line with continuing redevelopment plans.
The accessible shopping centre, based just 20 miles from Belfast city centre, boasts 'all of the benefits of being a destination shopping centre at outlet prices,' with stores, restaurants and cafes catering for all ages in a vow to ensure complete customer satisfaction.
‘‘We have an abundance of eateries, whether you’re in the mood for coffee or a cocktail, an easy-dinner or a traditional Sunday roast, we have it all at the one location,'' Leona Barr, centre manager reveals. ‘‘We have fantastic eateries including Jakes Cocktail Bar and Moes Grill. For the coffee lovers, you have a choice of getting your caffeine fix at our 130-seater Starbucks Coffee or Costa.
‘The Junction is very accessible to get to, regardless of where you’re travelling from,’’ Leona adds. ''There is also free parking available all year round for added convenience.’’
''But above all, The The Junction offers an abundance of retail stores, making it a one-stop shopping destination for the entire family.’’
Keeping in the headlines for all the right reasons, The Junction is launching a range of fun and festive events throughout the festive season.
Leona explains: '‘To help shoppers get into the Christmas spirit, we have free entertainment on the mall every weekend in December. It’s definitely a busy time of year for us and the buzz around the centre over the festive period is magical.
‘‘We find that a lot of families come down to avail of the free entertainment, which keeps the kids amused while the adults rush off to get their Christmas shopping complete.
''We also see groups of friends arriving at The Junction for an afternoon around the shops, before relaxing for a bite to eat in one of our restaurants.
‘‘We have lots of fun activities taking place over the festive period for the entire family to enjoy. There will be everything from Christmas Trails, face painting on the mall, balloon modellers, a Santa Train, LED Bumper Cars plus much more.
A list of our festive activity and entertainment taking place in December can be found in the what’s on guide of our website’
Stores for all ages
The Junction has been designed with the whole family in mind with an array of shops ideal for each age-group and interests, as Leona explains: ''Tom Tailor and GAP both offer an excellent range of fashionable high-quality kids clothing.
‘‘For teenage girls and ladies, the Beauty Outlet is a cosmetic lover’s heaven! The store is packed full with affordable cosmetics, from popular makeup brands like Stila and NYX, to fragrances and toiletries.
‘‘They currently have a great choice of gift ideas for Christmas (already gift-wrapped!), including luxury Bath Bomb sets priced at around £6.
‘‘Quiz is the ultimate go-to store for the perfect girls-night-out outfit, their exclusive ‘QUIZ X TOWIE’ is a big hit. The teenage boys and fitness fans love the active wear offering we have at The Junction, with Nike, Intersport and Asics all available at the centre.
‘‘I have teenagers and I personally struggle to get them out of Nike! Klass and Bonmarche cater for the more mature lady with everything from Christmas party nights in mind to cruise outfits. Meanwhile Next and Marks and Spencer have well priced suiting and casual wear for men.
Combining festive events with discount prices, popular high street brands including the likes of Next, Marks and Spencer, and Gap promise to be even more attractive with extra discounts ahead of Christmas.
‘‘And for those who love everything interiors-related, stores like Denby and Julian Charles offer luxury homeware products at a phenomenal price.
‘‘In addition, B&M Bargains, The Works and Poundland are a good shout for affordable treats for the kids and as a stop off before visiting the 10-screen Omnimax cinema located at The Junction.’’
Fashion fan Leona reveals she loves seeing the new trends coming in, adding that she loves ‘‘all things animal print.’’
‘‘I always have animal print in my wardrobe and I’m delighted to add a lot of pieces to the collection this year! The sports stores are embracing the super fashionable street-wear trend with Nike stocking the ‘Dad trainers’ and other key pieces from that urban look. It’s good to see that we can cater for the younger generation as well as the more mature shopper.’’
Exciting plans for 2019
As part of its exciting redevelopment plans, The Junction also recently welcomed McDonald’s to it’s ever expanding list of exciting new eateries.
Leona enthuses: ‘‘McDonald’s had a record-breaking opening which was great to see.
‘‘We have a really exciting 2019 lined up with work commencing at the beginning of the year on our new road which will open up to a beautiful public square space, whilst Lidl will also open their new upsized store in April.
‘‘In fact, we are looking forward to announcing new retailers in early 2019 so watch this space!’'
Keep up to date with The Junction
To find out about the latest offers available at The Junction, visit: thejunctionshopping.com, which is updated on a daily basis to ensure that shoppers don’t miss out on any of the fantastic discounts running in store.
To connect with The Junction on social media, for Facebook search @TheJunctionAntrim, follow The Junction on Twitter @JunctionAntrim and on Instagram @thejunctionantrim.