A comic book convention which brought superheroes to the streets of Huddersfield saw a big boost in trade for town centre retailers.
Get Your Geek On, organised by Huddersfield Business Improvement District (BID), saw the highest footfall figures for the town centre in the last three months, according to official figures.
The free event, or ‘comic con’, saw comic book and sci-fi fans – many dressed as their favourite comic book characters – flood into the town centre with shops reporting a significant boost in takings.
Kirklees Council reported that the event, held on Saturday and Sunday July 23 and 24, saw 174,449 people visit the town centre, an increase of 18.87% on the weekend average of 146,753 in the last three months.
Traders were delighted with the success with one specialist shop taking a week’s takings in just two days. Another saw a 50% rise on the average weekend.
Huddersfield BID manager Sam Sharp said the event was a great success and she wanted to thank everyone who made it possible.
“We’d like to thank everyone who attended Get Your Geek On and say thank you to our levy payers for their support with the event.
“Increasing footfall in the town centre is one of the main objectives of Huddersfield BID and Get Your Geek On did exactly that.
“Hearing positive comments from businesses and those who enjoyed themselves at the event fills us with excitement for our upcoming events and campaigns.
“I’d also like to thank the whole BID team who have gone above and beyond to make this weekend happen. They have worked so hard, and it has paid off.”
The event included a superhero trail, comic book characters meeting people and having selfies with visitors and movie cars on display on the streets. One of the highlights was Jedi training with Star Wars expert Andrew Lawden.
One of the shops to benefit was pop culture shop Diversions Gifts in the Imperial Arcade. Owner Gareth Hughes saw his takings soar and said: “We had a fantastic time and it was enjoyable to see so many families come and enjoy a day out for free in Huddersfield.
“Financially, the event was a massive success for us. We took a week’s takings in one weekend which is just the boost we were hoping for.
“It can sometimes feel like town centre shops are forgotten about but Huddersfield BID have come in to promote the town centre and they have proven what is possible with the Get Your Geek On event.”
Another business to benefit was Kapow Comics in St Peter’s Street and owner Paul Thornton said: “We are over the moon.
“Takings in the shop over the weekend increased by 50% compared with average weekends and we saw over double the number of people in the shop. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!”
Huddersfield BID’s latest campaign is the Huddersfield Lego Trail which runs until August 31. Search for Huddersfield BID on Facebook and download the LoyalFree app to find 17 iconic Huddersfield landmarks re-created in Lego and placed in shops and buildings around the town centre.