Did you witness that massive pedestrian choke point created on the route up from Hapenny bridge as far as Roches Stores during the xmas spending? Where about 40 thousand people were trying to squeeze into a space about the width of two people standing?
I think, half the crowd who wanted to go and shop in the Illac and Roches, Arnotts, Marks and Spencer, Jervis Street etc, must have just turned around completely and walked back over the Liffey again.
Mind you, the Jervis Street Shopping centre had the considerable foresight when designing their operation, to add that second crucial access point on a corner, on Jervis Street. While that entrance needed escalators, and considerable trouble to make it happen - it probably is worth a bomb in terms of increasing footfall through the Jervis Street centre.
Similarly with St. Stephen's Green Shopping centre - the provision of multiple acess points really stands out in my mind, as being a sucess in terms of retail profitability.
Not all shopping centres etc, observe this crucial fact though, and many just fail, because they only have one access point. Thus many the creation of a pedestrian route through the centre impossible. Cleary's shop in O'Connell Street is a clear example of that - with massive decay of shoppers moving through that shop in the past 10 years.
And it is not all down to the sucess of Henry Street either - rather it is the design of circulation in Clery's doesn't lend itself at all nowadays to the 'browse and stroll' attitude of todays 'consumerism as a hobby/pastime' market out there.
Scary things are happening to the Illac these days I think too, have any of you walked into the 'Dunnes Stores' in the Illac lately!
I remember when that used to be a pretty decent shop space.
I think that Roches saw the opening, and invested wisely in their new premises. Between Arnotts and Roches now, and Jervis centre, the Illac doesn't stand a chance. Except at the very, very, very bottom (scraping the bottom) end of the market.