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<< Back Posted on 27th November 2019

By Carolyn Brownell



More than 80 independent businesses and 206,000 visitors celebrated the inaugural City of Arcades Day generating a 6 percent increase in footfall on last year’s figures.

The day, created by FOR Cardiff, followed on from the launch of the City of Arcades campaign in 2018, which saw almost 10,000 votes cast by the public to determine the Top 10 businesses in Cardiff’s seven historic arcades.

City of Arcades Day has been hailed a success by businesses, with some seeing over 300 additional visitors on the day itself and up to a 60 percent increase in sales. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from businesses, FOR Cardiff has committed to hosting another City of Arcades Day in 2020.

It wasn’t just the arcade independents that saw a boost, St David’s shopping centre also reported the day to be their busiest day so far, all year, demonstrating the benefit of having a city with an array of independent businesses alongside bigger retailers.

Jo Roberts, owner of Fabulous Welshcakes in Castle Arcade said: “From our point of view, the City of Arcades Day was a great success. We sold out of our exclusive salted caramel Welshcakes by 1pm and took an extra 50 percent in revenue compared to a normal Saturday. The arcade was packed and really busy all day.”

Arcade businesses put on special offers or hosted events which ranged from two sold-out tours of the Morgan Quarter, a mini Christmas market, a fashion show, a charity Mario Kart tournament and an evening poetry reading.

To add to the overall atmosphere, live music and performances were also arranged by Spillers Records, Polarity Coffee and Cardiff-based music label PYST with the support of FOR Cardiff.

Rory Fleming, Centre Manager of the Morgan Quarter, said: “Comparing days like for like with last year, we saw a six per cent increase on footfall across Royal and Morgan arcades, this is particularly impressive because the same Saturday in 2018 was a rugby international fixture.”

Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff said: “We are committed to helping improve the appeal of the city centre to boost footfall and the economy, so it’s fantastic to receive such positive feedback on one of our campaigns. The real outcome for us is to see the day having a significant impact in terms of increased revenue for businesses. Through further consultation with businesses, we are now looking forward to developing plans for City of Arcades Day 2020.”

To find out more about Cardiff’s arcades, visit