THE day it was officially announced the UK had entered into a double-dip recession, a shopping centre in Swindon bucked the trend by posting massive sale increases.

McArthurGlen’s Swindon Designer Outlet yesterday announced that during the Easter weekend it had a 56 per cent increase in the number of people visiting the centre, resulting in a 55 per cent total boost in sales.

In particular, sales of designer collections rose by 67.2 per cent compared with the same four-day Easter period last year.

Accessories sales also proved particularly strong this Easter, showing a 35.7 per cent increase.

Jewellery was up an average of 36 per cent and shoes up a double digit 69.3 per cent.

Centre manager Tina Cumpstey said: “With an offering of more than 90 designer and high street brands, we are in a position to capitalise on the growing number of shoppers seeking the best fashion for less.

“Consumers today are looking to invest their money in top quality products, and the breadth of our fashion offering from LK Bennett and Calvin Klein to Phase Eight and Superdry provides them with premium fashion for up to 60 per cent less.”

The cool weather over the Easter weekend drove visitors to the centre, spurring not only sales of designer collections but also of home furnishings, with sales up 67 per cent on last year.

Jaye Thompson, the executive fashion director at In Style magazine said: “In this challenging economic moment, it's not that people have stopped buying fashion, it’s just that they're asking more from the fashion they're buying.

“This is all part of the trend for ‘investment dressing’ – choosing and wearing fashion pieces that offer longevity and value for money and it is McArthurGlen which caters to this need.”

It was announced yesterday the country had slipped into its first double-dip recession since 1975 and three months of decline are likely to follow.