A new relaxation area has been created in a Horsham shopping centre, just in time to for the Christmas rush.
Swan Walk has opened its Living Room space offering shoppers a chance to sit down, relax and take a break from lugging around their bags.
The area, made up of colourful chairs and comfy sofas, has been designed to allows users the chance to drink their coffee, browse on the centre’s free wifi, or pick up a new book and all at no extra cost.
Gill Buchanan, Swan Walk centre manager, said the centre had invested a significant amount of money in the project and was very happy to be offering it to shoppers.
She said: “We are absolutely delighted with it. It’s gone down really well and it’s definitely going to be one of our wins for the year.”
The area is something the shopping centre has never previously been able to offer before.
Gill explained due to the fact Swan Walk was built around old brick streets the centre was too narrow to be able to offer a larger seating area in its walkways.
She said: “We had been planning it for a while. Town centres and shopping centres are no longer just about shopping.
“I think we have had a mix here, we have had compliments from some of our older more vulnerable customers, mothers that want to breast feed and lots of youngsters.”
As well as sitting down and enjoying a coffee - although currently food is not permitted to be eaten in the area - the Living Room also plays host to a library.
Several shelves are home to scores of books which can either be read whilst relaxing or taken away.
Gill explained the books can be taken home and kept but encouraged people to leave a charitable donation in the donation box on the side of the library unit.
She added: “If you have finished a really good book and you want to bring in a book and swap it for another one you can.”
Artwork is also on display inside the unit and from January is set to showcase a new local artist each month.
The Living Room is expected to stay in the centre until its current home is let to a new retailer.
However, just like the popular Ping! ping pong parlour - also launched by Swan Walk this year - it will be moved to other empty units if and when they become available.
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