Marie Gribben joined the Middleton shopping centre management in October following five successful years as Centre Manager at Mill Gate Shopping Centre in Bury, Greater Manchester. Marie previously worked at Middleton shopping centre in 2010-13 as Deputy Centre Manager and therefore knows the centre very well. With her experience in the shopping centre industry and an extensive marketing background, she plans on elevating the centre’s offering further.
She says she has been bowled over by the town’s close-knit community. “This is my fifth week at Middleton shopping centre and it’s been brilliant” said Marie. “My focus is on finding out what encourages our customers to keep coming back and trying to deliver on that, and I’ve also been speaking with retailers to find out what their priorities are.
“Chatting to people who come here is incredibly important as I want to be able to cater to as many of our visitors’ needs and requests as possible and the same goes for our tenants, too. It’s a pleasure getting to know people – everyone has been so welcoming.”
Over the next 12 months, a key part of her vision includes continually showcasing the range of retailer products available at the centre, putting on an exciting programme of free, family events and providing a safe and clean environment for people to shop, which will help keep attracting regular and new visitors.
She continued: “People enjoy coming to Middleton shopping centre as it’s the perfect setting for meeting friends and family for a coffee and picking up the bits they need for the week ahead. The general feedback I’ve been receiving is that the centre is a real part of the community and the public want to see it flourish, and I’m really looking forward to exploring some brilliant opportunities with the local community and seeing what the future holds.”
Ashdown Phillips & Partners Ltd who manage the centre said “Centre management is a specialist skill. It balances business acumen with community spirit. It requires a commercial brain and a human heart. Our Shopping Centre Managers run the centre’s as if they were their own business, and we are proud of them for doing so.”
“They have to have their fingers on lots of pulses at the same time; every day they are liaising with local authorities, building relationships with shoppers, the local community and the wider general public. At the same time they are responsible for marketing and promotion, for social media and commercialisation and for nurturing the small businesses in their care, promoting their growth or expansion. They listen, receive feedback and make changes. Marie will fit in perfectly at Middleton and we wish her every success.”