Sales targets at The Forum shopping centre were smashed over the Christmas period, proving residents still love to hit the town’s shops.
Stores such as Bon Marché reported a 15% increase in sales and a 16% increase in footfall throughout the month of December versus the same month the previous year.
Game, Dorothy Perkins and F Hinds also reported an increase in trade over the Christmas trading period.
The Forum shopping centre, Sittingbourne
Peacocks sales increased by 5% compared to 2012 figures.
Centre manager Francesca Donovan said: “Despite some major high street names reporting a decrease in sales our latest reported
figures indicate that The Forum certainly bucked the trend.
“We definitely noticed an increase across the board in the last few days leading up to Christmas indicating that shoppers were holding out for last-minute deals and our festive events certainly made a difference in terms of footfall.
“We are proud to be a part of the community and aim to offer a great environment for visitors to shop with us all year round.”
In a bid to boost trade, Swale council introduced a new parking charge system in the run-up to Christmas Eve. People could park free after 2pm and without charge all day on Sunday. Despite numerous requests for information on how successful this was, the authority has been unable to provide details.
Council officers raised concerns about Italian investors' possible mafia links when it was drawing up a rescue package for debt-ridden Transeuropa.
Company chiefs in the county say "wholesale review" of business rates would be welcomed but admit they do not know what the alternative is.
Read all county news