King Street Festival Enjoys Triumphant Return

Thousands attend free weekend event Retailers see huge uplift in sales and new customers over weekend

Following the success of the inaugural King Street Festival, last weekend’s all along Manchester city centre’s iconic shopping street again saw thousands of people enjoy the festivities, with 16% more people visiting the shopping district year on year.

Coordinated by Manchester BID, Manchester’s Business Improvement District, the festival extended across both Lower and Upper King Street, showcasing the street’s ever-flourishing mix of premium retailers, luxury brands and upscale eateries and hotels with a weekend filled with fashion, beauty, music, history and complimentary VIP experiences.

Reports being collated from the retailers so far have shown many reporting double digit uplifts in both sales and footfall, including brands as diverse as Kiehls and Virgin Money through to award
winning restaurants such as El Gato Negro. Over the course of the weekend, visitors reveled in the sunshine, enjoying drinks in the Sipsmith Gin Lawn Club and learning about history the street on the guided tours and through the specially published Historic Manchester Walking Guide, still available to pick up free from the shops.

Shoppers and diners enjoyed a range of exclusive treats and events throughout the festival, including discounts, complimentary prosecco, menu tasters, gifts with purchase, complimentary
beauty treatments, special cocktails and a competition to win an incredible holiday with Kuoni.

Over 50 stores, restaurants and brands took part including All Bar One, Belstaff, Bravissimo, Browns, Burger & Lobster, Castle Fine Arts, Cath Kidston, Diesel, DKNY, Diverso, Framed Opticians, Fred Perry, Graphene, Hobbs, Jigsaw, King Street Townhouse, Kuoni, Hawes & Curtis, House of Fraser, Kiehls, L’Occitane, Miller & Carter, Mint Velvet, Mr Thomas’ Chop House, Patisserie Valerie, Pizza Express, Pretty Green, Rapha, Rosso, The Body Shop, Watches of Switzerland, White Stuff, Virgin Money Lounge, El Gato Negro and Suri to name a few.

There were a number of new additions to the event, including a flower market, the Alex Echo art garden and pop-up parks on Upper King Street. The parking bays hosted ‘happenings’ ranging from shoe-shining, to urban sketching with local artist Liz Ackerley, a community garden and outdoor dining serenaded by tunes from the grand piano.

The festival bandstand made a welcome return, showcasing the best swing and jazz bands in town, while several outdoor food and drink carts were on-hand to keep thirsts quenched and appetites
satisfied.

Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair said: “The inaugural King Street Festival really set the bar high but this year’s event proved to be even better, with festivities extending to Upper King Street. It was brilliant to see even more retailers, restaurants and hotels taking part.”

“The King Street Festival was created to celebrate the street’s resurgence and it was fantastic to see everyone working collaboratively to put on an event that encourages footfall and ultimately drives awareness of what the street now has to offer.”

“This event, alongside many others that have taken place since the Manchester Arena attack, shows people are determined to carry on as normal, enjoy life and is a shining example of Manchester’s great spirit in the face of adversity.”

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