St. Marks Shopping Centre

St. Marks Shopping Centre is located just off the high street in the southern part of the City Centre. Accessible by car, bus and rail, you will have no trouble finding this one-of-a-kind shopping centre pinnacle in Lincoln’s shopping experience. With the shopping centre being one of our Main Sponsors we sent over a few questions to find out more about them and their involvement with Lincoln Fashion Week.

As previously discussed in the ‘An Interview with The Waterside Shopping Centre‘, them and St. Marks were at the beginning of Lincoln Fashion Week as they saw a gap that would benefit local fashionista’s, businesses, brands more, as they say:

“We decided that we needed an attraction to Lincoln, which whilst supporting the city’s tourist offer also brought together the commerical areas of the city . This enabled wider participation to position Lincoln as the destination for local fashionista’s.”

Baring this in mind and remember that Lincoln Fashion Week is the brainchild of these two distinct shopping centres, we wanted to know what St. Marks thought regarding how far the event had come in the last three years. The team went onto say that it is great that in the last three years we have seen “independent businesses and national chains working together.” Continuing on to explain that because of this it has enabled the local community to use their vast array of skillsets with everything from “beauty, through to hairdressing and photography, designing and even modelling” to contribute towards an event that has evolved into the state it exists in now. As they say;

“… becoming one of the favourite’s in the city’s event calender.”

Moving forward to looking at the question that we are always intrigued to know the answer to. Why is it important to St. Marks, and other sponsors, to be involved with local community events? Their reply explained how they feel it is important to support local events and play their part in increasing the local economy. As explained, they can do this through charitable campaigns all the way through to supporting city events such as the RAF 100 Voices Trail, last years successful Knights Trail and finally, being sponsors for this year’s Lincoln in Bloom.

As you have read, St. Marks are no strangers to doing their part for the local community and as we have understood previously, they were behind the start of Lincoln Fashion Week, however, why were they interested in bringing fashion to the community?

“This year is the second year that St Marks will be hosting the children’s fashion show event within Debenhams on Monday 7 May. One of our core strengths is our wide family offer, ranging from fashion and sports to homewares and health and well-being with our 24-hour Pure Gym onsite, through to eating lunch in our peaceful gardens – there is something for everybody.

Lincoln Fashion Week gives us the opportunity to showcase the best of what our stores have to offer. Following on from the success of our selfie Christmas bauble, we are also featuring a larger than a life handbag in St Marks’ Square from 4 – 11 May, encouraging shoppers to take a selfie, and upload this onto our Facebook page for the chance to win a £50 voucher from Debenhams.”

With the previous statement and the information given, this begged the question as to whether or not St. Marks Shopping Centre would continue to supporting Lincoln Fashion Week in the future and they were more than enthusiastic to explain that they would. Telling us how they have supported it since day one and will continue to do so for as long as it continues, which they hope, is many years to come as they love the buzz of all the retailers and stakeholders working together and enabling them to bring the best of what they do, to their customers.

St. Marks Shopping Centre is not just a shopping centre and that statement is supported by the information provided in their interview. They are a hub for community, stability and economy all in one place that thrives alongside the city in which it resides. If this was not enough information to convince you of their dedication to their community, we asked them why the community was so important to them.

“We support a large array of charities throughout the year and last year alone we raised £20,000 for charity. The charities we support range from large national charities such as Macmillan, to local charities such as Lives and the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance. We also host a monthly cake and coffee morning for elderly residents of the city who are unable to get out very often. Our support continues this year with the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), whereby we will be having a Red Arrow in the centre from 6 – 12 August and shoppers can have their photo taken, of which 50% of the funds raised will be for the RAFA. Other community projects that we are heavily involved in, is that of sustainable transport. We feel that it is vitally important to protect our environment and last year installed a secure cycle storage facility, free of charge to customers. We have also sponsored the city’s Hirebike campaign over the last two years and we went on to win a Green Apple Award for our environmental best practice.”

This response provided by St. Marks reinforces their love of community and how it is at the heart of what they aim to do at the shopping centre. This answer also leads us into looking at why they support local retailers as well as branded stores:

“Overall, it improves the customer experience to have a good mix of national and independent retail and leisure brands. This is what sets ourselves apart from online shopping, offering customer a more personal experience.”

With that final statement provided by St. Marks Shopping Centre, you can understand how the community is at the heart of their shopping centre and everything that they do. With this dedication to the people of Lincoln, this is why we are proud to call them our sponsor for Lincoln Fashion Week.